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Gio rights the ship

Jun 20, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Two batters and nine pitches into his start against the Phillies on Wednesday, Gio Gonzalez could have folded up his tent and called it a night. Down 2-0 after allowing a Ben Revere single and Michael Young homer — and knowing how much his Nationals teammates have struggled to offer run support — Gonzalez had to wonder if this game already was a lost cause.

That the left-hander proceeded to completely reverse course and not only salvage a respectable start, but thoroughly dominate for the next seven innings, speaks volumes about the progress he's made as a pitcher.

"He's a perfectionist, and he doesn't want to give up runs," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "His job is to keep us in the ballgame. He's starting to understand that he can give up a couple runs in one inning, and make sure you bear down the rest of the game."

Gonzalez has now done this a few times, most notably on May 5 in Pittsburgh, when he gave up two quick runs in the first inning and loaded the bases with no outs, then escaped without surrenderingRead more »

125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Laddie, what do you do when they claim the MRI was clean on the shoulder and shows the tear healed properly?There have been lots of conflicting reports, but I have never seen one that says that an MRI showed the tear has healed properly. This is from Mark's post on June 6, after Danny was put on the DL: "'They also did an MRI on his shoulder, put some dye in there, it revealed a little injury into his rotator cuff,' Johnson said."And this is from a James Wagner post on June 12, possibly quoting the same interview:"An MRI that required a dye injected into the shoulder didn’t reveal any worsening of the injury, Johnson said."Wagner repeated the same conclusion in a post just two days ago: "The Nationals have been more concerned about his wrist than his torn left rotator cuff, which Espinosa worked hard this offseason to rehab and a recent MRI showed no new damage." It's hard to say whether there's been any new reporting on this but it seems pretty clear that the Nats don't think the shoulder is a problem. Whether that's true or not is another question. Remember when ALR said that during the first month of the 2011 season, he didn't feel any pain in the shoulder except when he threw, but then he realized that his labrum injury was sapping his power. I don't understand why Danny thinks it's better to toil away in the minors working on his swing, instead of getting completely well and coming back like a beast next year. Especially since he has the wrist problem too, which would undoubtedly be helped by more than a few weeks rest.

  2. Tcostant - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Reminded me a lot of a game I saw Kevin Brown pitch in San Degio a while back. He gave up three runs in the first and I was scoring the game and realized in the 8th inning that he retired ever batter in order after the first 'til that point in the 8th.He end up winning 5-3.

  3. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    From Fangraphs on tonight's game.Concerning Roy Oswalt’s Velocity in the MinorsAccording to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Oswalt was “consistently at 92 mph” and “hitting 95 on occasion” during his June 9th start for Double-A Tulsa. In another piece by the Post — in this case by Irv Moss — Oswalt himself suggested that he’s “not 94 (mph) anymore” but still throwing at “91, 92.”Concerning Roy Oswalt’s Results in the MinorsThe 35-year-old Oswalt made five minor-league starts within the Rockies system — all with Double-A Tulsa. Over those five starts, he posted this line: 33.1 IP, 6.75 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 1.35 BB/9, .218 BABIP, 2.16 ERA, 4.28 FIP. Readers should note that, while likely to allow home runs to right-handers at an above-average rate for the Texas League, Tulsa’s ONEOK Field is otherwise mostly neutral.Concerning the Rockies, Their Prospects at the MomentAs of Wednesday night, at least, the Rockies appear to be 2.5 games out of first place in the National League West. FanGraphs’ very scientific and totally clairvoyant projected standings suggest that, with Oswalt, the Rockies are still most likely to finish two games behind Arizona in the NL West.

  4. Caps Fan - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    The Nats can't force Espinosa to shut it down and get the shoulder surgery. All they can do is send him to the doctors, which they did. The doctors can't force him to shut it down either. All they can do is diagnose the problem and lay out the various courses of action available to treat it. Espinosa has to make the choice himself. He can either shut it down now, get healthy and come back ready to go next spring, or he can continue to grind it out. The Nats have done all they can do. They are forcing him to make his choice in AAA. Eventually he may realize he's getting nowhere by continuing to grind, and then he'll shut it down. Or maybe he won't.

  5. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    True enough Feel/Caps Fan. The question is why Espi thinks he's doing himself a favor by proceeding this way. Regardless of what Rizzo says about his return to the big leagues being completely independent of how Rendon is doing, he has to see the handwriting on the wall for this year. I guess it's more fun to play AAA ball than rehab after surgery, but the more Golden Sombreros he accumulates down there, the more he'll look to everyone like his major league career is over.

  6. Candide - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    (Got new-posted – from the last post):Laddie – I'm no Espi booster, but here's what I think is going on:First off, I think he's at least reasonably healthy right now. The shoulder, according to the docs, is fine, and he took a couple of more weeks off for the wrist.So why is he saying he's feeling comfortable at the plate, while striking out 2/3 of the time? My theory is that while he may be comfortable at the plate, he's still learning – or re-learning – proper approach. He's been swinging ugly for 2 years, and even though he may be comfortable, he has yet to work that comfort into muscle and eye memory.If he's not just BS-ing everyone about this, then I would expect him to improve dramatically at some point against AAA pitching. Keep in mind, he was a good hitter at one time. I think he should be able to get that back, but it'll take some work, to get rid of the accumulated bad habits.

  7. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    (Pulled this up from the last post, too)The one thing about Espi's shoulder is, if the MRI truly showed no additional injury has occurred, then I don't see how this is related to the shoulder. He killed it in ST, right? If the shoulder injury remains unchanged, but is the cause of his current troubles, then how did he kill it in ST?

  8. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Since reading the interview with Danny yesterday, I find myself pulling for him again. I was impressed by his change in attitude. Maybe the doctors have told him that his shoulder is not the problem- we don't know that. When you change mechanics, you often get worse before you get better. He seems to be embracing the challenge now. As for the team– I really do see lots of good things happening in the games– not a lot of breaks, bad timing, but lots of the separate elements of the game are better. Comebacks are new. It's just that risp monster yet to slay.

  9. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    >It's just that risp monster yet to slay.Yes, and there's even been some positive development on that front.

  10. JaneB - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    I agree with Candide: Espi was once a good hitter. I hope he gets straight down there and becomes his old self. But I, too, wish he would get the surgery and THEN remake his swing, and save his career in the bargain.But this post was about GIO. ANd he did pitch mighty well out there. So did the BP. Hits made all the difference, though. Like we don't already know that. I think eating some faces did the trick after all.

  11. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Gio was awesome last night… He has had a good stretch of games lately with no wins to account for… Dang offense not helping him out at all…I had to look at the pitch again that Brown scored the HR on and yeah it was a fat pitch… 1 mistake that we ended up over-coming…Exciting game… Looking forward to building off this win and on to the journey of 16 – 10 for the month of June)

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    You mean Young's home run?

  13. Nats 128 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Candide, thats a different view on things with Espy and it makes alot of sense.

  14. Nats 128 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Bigger issue is Davey had a short bench issue. Chad Tracy hurt his oblique throwing and Bernadina has a eye issue.If last nights game went longer Davey was out of pinch hitters and wouldve turned to Strasburg.

  15. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Wait, are you telling me Tracy finally woke up and then promptly injured himself? Figures.

  16. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Oh, I didn't know about Tracy. He came up and then Davey swapped him out for Marrero. How bad is the oblique?

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    alexva said… I know FP did not like Kobernus' play but he was bunting for a hit. in that case Suzuki is on third with one out. again, you can differ on the strategy but to say it makes no sense seems a bit harsh I said the same as it unfolded in the at-bat. 3rd baseman playing back + Kobernus speed made a great ambush bunt for a single and then the bonus of course was the pitcher got rattled and next pitch threw the Wild Pitch.I think FP over-reacted at the time.

  18. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I doubt he would have turned to Stras. Might have turned to Haren or Stammen, or simply let a reliever hit for himself.

  19. SCNatsFan - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Hey at Espi's age I thoought I knew everything so if they are asking this guy to make the correct decision about surgery you can't blame him if he makes a wrong choice.RE: LoD there are people who see the negative in all things Nats and there are the ones (like myself) who are horrified by the start this year. I know some get upset at negative posts – and it is their right – but to those who see all negative posts as antiNats let me suggest to some, like me, some posters are pollyanna like and see the good in errors those posts are just as incorrect to me. Love the team and, even if they finish in last, I'll wear my Curly W hat proudly but I think after supporting the team for years – I'm an Expos fan – I've earned the right to be disgruntled with the team this year. Hopefully soon the Nats will be winning and I'll be back to being gruntled.

  20. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    I am, however, quite glad the game didn't go more than 11 innings. :)

  21. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…You mean Young's home run?====Brain fart – Yes. Thanks!

  22. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Ghost, just saw the Brooks strikezone plot of Desi's at bat. That is very cool. Good eye Desi, and the ump was right Charlie, so sit down and shut up. And don't make excuses after the game either.Dave J was making a huge deal over the ump last night being the same guy who was squeezing Storen in Game 5. I played with Brooks a bit, but I'm not that familiar with it and couldn't get the graphs you seem to be able to pull. Was Dave right about the calls last night during Storen's inning?

  23. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    So does this mean our bench is short tonight again??

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    I thought Tracy got treatment for his back during the game and told Skip he was available to pinch-hit?If it was a decoy it worked great as they countered with Bastardo. Finally Tracy is warranting opposing Managers to make counter-measure moves with their bullpen.For a while there he was an auto-out.I will make some calls to see what I can find out on Tracy.

  25. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    And I do think it's a trait peculiar to baseball fans that they kind of enjoy being miserable. I mean, look how many Cubs fans are out there.

  26. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I did not know that Tracy was hurt… And did they ever really reveal what happened to Roger?

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Section222, give me a minute on the charts and I will post it up. Was just sending a text out.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Yep, they missed 1 clear strike in a 1st pitch and he didn't get 1 borderline strike that could've gone either way and was the pitch Desi was K'd on in Tuesday's game. You talk about precision pitching by Drew! http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation_io.php-pitchSel=519322&game=gid_2013_06_19_wasmlb_phimlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Mrs. B…I had a bet with a Philly fan buddy of mine that the Nats staff could hold Brown homerless during the series so I had to say something.So the first 2 buckets of beer are on him when we meet at our favorite watering hole Saturday to watch the Nats/Rockies game.

  30. karlkolchak - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    On Espy and surgery–sorry I do not buy it that his shoulder is fine. No, I obviously haven't seen his medical records, but the fact is he was hitting the ball quite well before the reported day of the injury last September. After that, his production fell off the table and has been getting worse and worse to the point where he is now helpless against even AAA pitching. I mentioned this yesterday, but he also likely managed to screw himself out of a huge raise since if he is not promoted back to the big club this year he will not have enough service time to be arbitration eligible this offseason. Had he had the surgery in October and spent the first half of the this season on the DL, all that time would have counted towards his arbitration eligibility. For whatever reason, he seems pigheadedly determined to handle this situation in the worst way possible for both the team and himself personally.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2013/jun/20/chad-tracy-dealing-back-issue-roger-bernadina-out-/Here you go. Amanda has good intel on both Tracy and Bernie. Tracy has a "knot" in his back. Let's see how they handle this. Now the opposing Manager I'm sure knows.

  32. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Well, there's your answer. Davey would have used Ohlendorf to PH.“He couldn’t have done nothing,” Johnson said. “He’s gonna see the eye doctor when we get home. So that’s why I was warming up (Ross) Ohlendorf in that inning, because I didn’t want to use my last player and he was gonna have to bunt him over coming in.Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2013/jun/20/chad-tracy-dealing-back-issue-roger-bernadina-out-/#ixzz2WlmogqCi

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    baseballswami said… Since reading the interview with Danny yesterday, I find myself pulling for him again. I was impressed by his change in attitude. Maybe the doctors have told him that his shoulder is not the problem- we don't know that. When you change mechanics, you often get worse before you get better. He seems to be embracing the challenge now. As for the team– I really do see lots of good things happening in the games– not a lot of breaks, bad timing, but lots of the separate elements of the game are better. Comebacks are new. It's just that risp monster yet to slay.swami, that's one of the best analysis on Espi that I've read. If that's the case and he is re-working his mechanics, it's going to be that ugly facing ex-MLBers night after night versus getting to Potomac and working it out on 30th round Draft Picks where the changes to mechanics would show more fruitful results.Quite possibly the Nats are in no hurry with Danny and this will be a long-term stint in the Minors. A story certainly to watch and I'm looking to our eagle eyes to tell us if Danny in fact is embracing new mechanics.

  34. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    karlkol- You say that Espi doesn't have enough major league service time for arbitration if he doesn't come back, and someone said the same thing yesterday. Do you know that for a fact? This is from Kilgore's post yesterday:"For now, Espinosa has lost his position and his status as a major leaguer. He will stop collecting service time, but he has likely already accumulated enough to qualify for arbitration after this season, even if he does not return to the major leagues."I wonder if this is why Rizzo demoted him yesterday rather than let him continue to rehab for the maximum number of days. If so, that's pretty cold, although I can't imagine he would get a big raise in arbitration after what happened this year.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I kind of purged this from my mind so I don't even remember the game this week that the Nats had multiple bases loaded ops and were K'ing as they swung for the fences.RZim and LaRoche in particular I commented never changed their 2 strike approach to a shorter "contact" swing. I am so happy that Desi not only made the comment about changing his approach to a shorter swing but showed that he was still able to power it out.The biggest problem I've seen is the power guys are pulling off their pitches at times and Rendon started swinging with an upper cut. Eck has to see this. With good hitters, it's generally the little things. FP pointed out several times last night all the mistake pitches Nats batters were missing and in particular RZim and ALR and when you are "on" you are making those pitchers pay like RZim did with his double.

  36. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    from Amanda's report:The outfielder’s left eye was extremely red and he said it was very cloudy. He did not take batting practice because it was so difficult for him to see the ball."The outfielder’s left eye was extremely red and he said it was very cloudy. He did not take batting practice because it was so difficult for him to see the ball."So much for the people before the game who made fun of him for "not being able to get something out of his eye."

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Section222, I agree with you. Any arb raise based on his results would be minimal. He's been getting paid on league minimum based on his 1st 3 years of service time so that's not the issue. I think it was to send a message to plan on staying a while.

  38. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Thanks for the Brooks zone Ghost. Is there no way to get individual at bat charts like you linked to for Desi's at bat?At any rate, those were very close calls. And Dave J was complaining about way more than one pitch. If you look at the full chart for the whole game, it looks like the ump did a very good job. And the fact that Desi K'd on a similar pitch in Tuesday's game with a different plate umpire is irrelevant I'd say.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Sect222, sure thing. Which batters chart do you want?Dave J would only be right if that low strike was given consistently for Kendrick and that was not the case as Marquez was excellent on the K Zone all night with Kendrick. 2 missed, 1 called a strike that was a ball and 1 strike that was called a ball.http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/location.php-pitchSel=452718&game=gid_2013_06_19_wasmlb_phimlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif

  40. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    The next 25 of 35 games is at home…Im hoping we make a serious run… I called for the sweep of the Rockies last night but I am ammending my prediction to a 3 -1 since Haren pitches Saturday… Sorry, but every game he pitches in, I call a loss already…And way to go NJ – I know a lot of Philly fans that were hoping that we won the series/swept them just so some changes could come to the team…

  41. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Gio has been a bright spot in a season of few bright spots.interesting debate on Espi's service time. as a Boras client I doubt this slipped by anyone there is no reason not to pull for Espinosa to be all he can be. I just don't see him unseating Rendon at 2B. Rendon is the real dealif he could revert to a .250 level and accept the role, he would be better than Lombo as the utility infielder

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Sect222, Gio OTOH has a beef. He didn't get the bottom of the zone strikes but he got the inside strikes.You have to know your ump but when it mattered the most, he got the call right on Desi on the up & in call that extended his Grand Slam at-bat.http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/location.php-pitchSel=461829&game=gid_2013_06_19_wasmlb_phimlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif

  43. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Ghost, thanks. I got it to work. It was Mayberry's at bat, and all three balls were out of the zone. Very hard to fault the ump.Mayberry struck out anyway. Drew was on last night, which was good to see.Also really good to see was Werth coming through in the clutch. Twice. He definitely walked the walk last night. And Gio, of course. A very good win indeed.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    An aside from last night was K-rol's velo was down 2 to 3 MPH on his fastball last night. It could be that he is no longer amp'd up or just wasn't feeling it last night.

  45. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    From last thread:"To just assert that it's the shoulder without knowing seems awfully foolish — unless you're the examining physician."I got similar comments last year about this time by saying that Ryan was not able to catch up to the fast ball, and that his shoulder might be the problem I got torched for saying that, but it was the correct observation.This is different. Anybody could see that RZim was not catching up to the fast ball. (In fact, Steady Eddie and I were at a game, and reported back here that very same observation (fwiw, it was even more obvious to see it in person) and was torched).But in Espi's case, he's taking long looping swings and missing. It's not that he can't catch up.So, that could be anything from shoulder to wrist to not seeing the ball well, to learning bad "looping swing" habits, etc.A long looping swing that _misses_ doesn't automatically imply, specifically: shoulder.

  46. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Last night I read that Bernie has an eye infection, making it hard for him to see. Darn right he needs to see a doc today. Friend of mine had one of those recently and missed almost a week of work. It was painful and she could not see well at all – light sensitivity and loss of depth perception. Not things you can manage as a major league player. And as for Espi being "demoted" yesterday — reading everything from purge day onward, Rizzo made it quite clear that this was the plan from day one for him to stay in AAA to fix his hitting. No big surprise or drama there.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Sect222, glad you got the chart to work. Gio did pitch well last night. A few too many 3 ball counts for my liking.What Nats pitchers have to know with Marquez is that he doesn't like the low strike. If the fish aren't biting, go somewhere else. Storen went 3 times to the same spot on Mayberry until he got smart and went away/middle and froze him.

  48. karlkolchak - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Section 222 – According to BR, Danny's service time prior to this year was just a shade over 2 years. He hasn't even collected an extra half year yet, so if he doesn't come back I can't see where he would even be a Super 2. And he likely would have at least doubled his salary since he is making near the MLB minimum of around $500K. Even marginal utility veterean players get $1 million or more these days.Of course, had he had the surgery and come back strong, he likely would have been bumped up into the $3 million or so range.

  49. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    When you change mechanics, you often get worse before you get better.Indeed. I think Charlie and Dave were making the analogy to Tiger Woods. At one point he re-did his swing, and went on a two-year stretch of not winning a single tourney. They were commenting on how hard it is to re-tool a swing and also compete at the same time.I wish him the best! He is, after all, one of "ours" and not one of "theirs"!

  50. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Ghost, saw that on Krol's velocity. He didn't have it for Howard, got a little better velo on Brown. Not sure why he was throwing off-speed stuff, he wasn't getting strikes.

  51. karlkolchak - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Oh, and as for Rizzo being that "cold," how often do we hear that baseball is a "business." If demoting Danny when he did saves the Lerners even a half million bucks he sort of has an obligation to do it. Sucks, but that's reality.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, saw that on Krol's velocity. He didn't have it for Howard, got a little better velo on Brown. Not sure why he was throwing off-speed stuff, he wasn't getting strikes. June 20, 2013 11:58 AM Suzuki put down the digits and K-rol didn't shake him off so I guess he just went with it.Not his stealthest outing but worked out fine. I hope we see a rested K-rol back at the 95+ in his next outing.

  53. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Yeah, maybe Zuk though he should "establish" the off-speed or "set up" the FB. Maybe the off-speed was working in warm-ups. At any rate, Krol did the job.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    WaPo uses a different pitch mapping and shows the 1-2 pitch to Desi as 1/2 of the ball on the black.Why doesn't WaPo use MLB's official Pitch F/X?http://translator.wpdigital.net/translate/pitchfx?atbat=8248541&a885fdc6ce524103c3dc4f466ad275

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    WaPo Sources: Pitch Info, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Sportvision.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Down on the farm in AA, Taylor Jordan with another gem giving up 1 earned over 8 innings and running his record to 6-0.In the same game, Matt LeCroy pulled Stephen Souza out of the game for possibly not running out a groundout. If that's the case, way to go Matt!

  57. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I wish I had seen/heard of DJ's press conference (that is what I get for being domestic) but I forgot to pause the TV as I was leaving out the room, DJ was asked about Krol's performance and he said something about it…

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    so I thought Karns was demoted to minors after his start against Twins. why don't we see any starts for him in minors since 9th June?

  59. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Here's DJ's presser after the game. Short discussion of Krol at the end.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    MrsB, here you go. K-rol comments near the end:http://www.masnsports.com/index_medialounge.php?show_id=1777694&p=

  61. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    GoSM, have you seen that guy pitch? you think he can go to AAA this season?

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Faraz, Karns is pitching tonight against Bowie.

  63. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Thanks. I was wondering whether he got injured somehow or something. I am hoping the big league stint taught him some things.

  64. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Finally, a drink from Ghost. Yes!!

  65. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Thanks so much!

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… GoSM, have you seen that guy pitch? you think he can go to AAA this season? I only saw Taylor Jordan pitch at Hagerstown when I was out to see some kid named Bryce Harper, and TaylorJ didn't make any positive impression on me then.I have to give full credit to NatsJack for putting him back on my radar. Just my opinion, I see TaylorJ as a #3 to #5 guy and not front of the rotation. A decent chance he could be a September callup depending on the pennant race. I have to think a AAA callup happens after the AA All-Star break.

  67. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Thursdays' Thingies(btw, does anybody read these? is it worth posting? no offense taken!)- Nats pitched 9-2/3 consecutive innings of no-hit ball (!!)- Vernon Wells OPS month by month: April .911; May .615; June .228- D-Backs' Josh Collmenter pitched six innings of emergency relief AND had a base hit. – Ronald Belisario (231 games) doubled his career error total (from 2 to 4) in one play.- Congratulations to Astros Chris Carter for being the first player to 100 batting strikeouts this season! (Yadier Molina has yet to strike out 100 times in any two-year span.)- Marlins are 8-3 against the Mets, and 14-46 against everybody else.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Sect222, impressive, can you scribble up that drink as I can't see the page on my cellular android device. Thanks!

  69. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    WaPo uses a different pitch mapping and shows the 1-2 pitch to Desi as 1/2 of the ball on the black.FWIW, pitch-track on TV last night showed it at least a baseball width off the plate (inside)

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    A DC Wonk said… – Nats pitched 9-2/3 consecutive innings of no-hit ball (!!)That's impressive!

  71. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Love it, Wonk! Keep it coming!

  72. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Re: Krol: Not sure why he was throwing off-speed stuff, he wasn't getting strikes. But he was close at first. His first pitch completely fooled the batter. It bended back towards the plate and was _almost_ a strike. If he _had_ been able to get a couple of those over, it would have been awesome.

  73. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    baseballswami said… Love it, Wonk! Keep it coming!Thanks — BTW, I just thought of another way to express what the Phils did last night:They only got hits in innings that started with a "1" !

  74. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Can't get the video of the Johnson post-game remarks so I risk repeating something he or somebody else already said. Whatever Krol's velocity, the most telling part of his appearance last night is that, in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game, Johnson removed Clippard and trusted Krol to deal w/ two win-it-in a single swing LH hitters. (Nothwithstanding that Clippard is supposed to be so great with LHs.) That says an awful lot, to me.Regarding Krol's velocity, I suppose it's possible that his fast ball tends to straighten out at 95 mph — and last thing you would want to feed either Howard or Brown would be straight fastball. Someone who has more experience watching Krol's repertoire might have a comment on that theory. As someone said, Suzuki was putting the fingers down.

  75. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Pitch track features are fun, but anything close has to be considered callable as either a strike or a ball and treated as such by the hitter. When you are talking maybe a half ball width off or on the back, that is very close for the human eye to quibble about.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    A DC Wonk said… FWIW, pitch-track on TV last night showed it at least a baseball width off the plate (inside) June 20, 2013 12:53 PM With all the different technologies available for use, MLB AT-BAT is very inaccurate. I'm sure WaPo chose to go with the technology that gives the best graphics but come on, Pitch F/X is the official system for MLB, why not use it.The ump got it right at the most crucial times and the Baseball Gods answered.

  77. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    This Taylor Jordan fella sounds fantastic…what are his pitches?

  78. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    So odd — all of spring training and early in the season we did not need no stinking lefties. We were just fiiiiine, thank you. Now, it's quick — call in the lefty! We have lefties! Oh, happy day! What a turnabout.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Theo, the reasoning to go to K-rol was to hold Rollins on 1st. Davey was right, Rollins steals 2nd with Klip pitching.Brilliant move by Davey as he finally has tools. Abad needs a Low Leverage inning to get back on the horse. Davey is probably waiting for a Nats huge lead to bring him in for ;)

  80. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Wonk @ 12:51, I read them when I have time. Plus, they're not all that long, anyway.

  81. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    222, didn't you owe me one, too? Not that I'm keeping track. ;-)

  82. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Eric….Taylor throws power sinker 92-93 with a good slider and change up. Think of him as Jordan Zmmermann-lite.

  83. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Whatever Krol's velocity, the most telling part of his appearance last night is that, in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game, Johnson removed Clippard and trusted Krol to deal w/ two win-it-in a single swing LH hitters. (Nothwithstanding that Clippard is supposed to be so great with LHs.) That says an awful lot, to me.It didn't say to me as much about Clip (he was, after all, on his second inning) as it did about Krol.This was Krol's first high leverage situation, if I remember right — and it was *way* high leverage. The kid is only 22. Getting that one out is huge for him, and surely is a major confidence booster.

  84. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    "FWIW, pitch-track on TV last night showed it at least a baseball width off the plate (inside)"Yeah, I'm honestly surprised the Phils were so amped up about it. I know the camera angle makes balls on that side of the plate seem to miss by more than they do, but pitches quite a bit closer than that one appeared to be are called balls pretty regularly."But he was close at first. His first pitch completely fooled the batter. It bended back towards the plate and was _almost_ a strike. If he _had_ been able to get a couple of those over, it would have been awesome."Seriously…that first pitch was *nasty*."They only got hits in innings that started with a "1" !"Ha!

  85. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Awesome, thanks @1:04, NatsJack.PS – love the oddities, Wonk, keep 'em coming!

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Eric, Taylor Jordan has a "funky" delivery and that's what his Manager Matt LeCroy calls it and that adds to his deception which is his best weapon.Jordan's repertoire is that he sits 92-93 on his four-seamer and throws a two-seamer with good movement. His changeup with split action is his K pitch. He's developing his slider which is a must have and is what will make/break him for any promotion as that is essential.

  87. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    What did Krol throw when Brown blooped to Desmond? Was it another breaker?I have a funny feeling he was pitching around those guys. I'm not too familiar with the Phil's lineup, but I have to think the threat drops off quite a bit once those two are out of the way. Seems plausible that all those near-miss breakers were by design, excepting the first one to Howard, which he pretty clearly was trying to sneak in the front door.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Eric, BTW, what I just gave you is what I got from a scout. In addition, Taylor Jordan can rear back and get the four-seamer up to 94-95.I agree with NatsJack, Jordan Zimmermann-lite. One scout sees him as a top reliever if he can't get the slider as a + pitch. I don't see it that way as this kid has stamina and the ability to go deep into games but the Majors is a long ways from success at AA.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I thought the pitch Krol got Brown out on was a fastball in on his hands.

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    The way I see the Nats really need to look within on a #5 starter for 2014. Remember, Ohlendorf is a Free Agent after this season. It is imperative that either Karns or Taylor Jordan come into Spring Training to compete for the #5 or at least be the presumptive #6.

  91. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    GoSM — I concede that any LH reliever is superior to any Nats RH pitcher at holding runners on base. (Damning w/ faint praise.)I can't assume that the purpose was to hold Rollins on; if Rollins steals, then they walk Howard — because his run doesn't matter — and deal w/ Brown in the same runners-at-first-and second situation in which they found themselves anyway. I don't think it matters much if Rollins is on second instead of first. At first with two out, if Howard hits a double, Rollins scores. At second, if Howard/Brown single, Rollins scores — except that against a modified shift Howard would have to hit it over the infield and (probably) not between them. Whether Johnson was motivated by Krol facing 1B or by playing the LH vs. LH percentages, he was still counting on Krol getting one out from the next two, dangerous, hitters, and Krol came through.

  92. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Attest to Taylor's sinker is that 14 of his 21outs last nite were ground outs. I followedthe game on gameday while watching the Nats.

  93. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Thanks for the breakdown on Taylor Jordan, Ghost, good stuff.>His changeup with split action is his K pitch.So, on an obliquely related note, I have a question about changeups in general. I never thought of the change up as a ball with any movement on it, I just thought its success hinged entirely on speed deception. But, then early in the season Stras buckled Votto's knees with a change up that basically corkscrewed its way around the bat and my mind was blown.When change ups move like that, is it generally something the pitcher does on purpose, or is it sort of like a knuckleball where the grip sometimes causes unpredictable movement? Maybe the obvious answer is both, but I've noticed that a lot of pitches that Bob or FP ID as a change up have a weird, lazy movement to them. Storen through a beautiful one last night, actually.

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Davey actually said to Clippard "J-Rol is stealig on your first pitch so I gotta bring in the lefty". That's in the post game presser linked in the comments above.

  95. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Hood change ups have terrific movement. Strasburgs acts like a slider to lefties.

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Good.

  97. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    "I thought the pitch Krol got Brown out on was a fastball in on his hands."Yeah, that sounds about right. I agree his (and/or z00k's) approach was very interesting…struck me as being very cautious. I also wonder if taking just a *hair* off your fastball might take advantage of an over-eager, aggressive batter standing in during a clutch situation.

  98. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    NatsJack, you compare Taylor Jordan to JZimm, from what I've seen he looks more like Stammen

  99. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    The "circle" change is what Stras throws.

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Eric, the 12/6 circle change is a devastating pitch by a good pitcher where the movement is like trying to swat a fast moving insect. Good luck.

  101. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Yeah, I just never knew that until that Votto K by Stras. It definitely broke like a lefty's slider, but more lazy.I guess what I'm wondering is, does the grip alone cause that or does the pitcher have to snap their wrist to some extent?

  102. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Love the informative discussions a day after a big win. Funny how it works that way sometimes ;)

  103. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    "devastating" is a great word for it.So, when a change has that kind of movement, it's probably a circle change (which I take to reference a "circle" created with the thumb and forefinger when gripping the ball?)?

  104. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I've been following him since his high school days.Craig Stammen could barely touch 90 when he first cane up. He's built up stength to get to 92-93.Taylor has always thrown low to mid 90's.

  105. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    My @1:27 was in response to NatsJack @1:24.

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Eric, you, me and 100 other guys could grip the circle change the same and not get that movement. It's less wrist action on the change and more finesse as it's the way he rolls each pitch off his fingers like an artist.Pedro Martinez had those extra long fingers which added to his movement.

  107. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Best part about the circle change is it's exactly one's normal fastball delivery with the action created strictly by the grip.

  108. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    PS – thanks for helping a n00b learn more about the esoteric nature of pitching ;).Until this year or maybe late last year I was terrible at detecting movement. If it wasn't a dramatic curve I didn't see it.This year I've started picking up on cutters and other pitches with more subtle movement (still can't really see subtle sinking action all that well).It's mind boggling what these guys can get a baseball to do, and even more so that people can stand there and get a hit.

  109. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    You are correct Ghost but there is no added torque on your elbow throwing it. The grip and how much pressure applied by the middle finger induces movement.

  110. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Good stuff, thanks again y'all.

  111. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    As a catcher, the base of my thumb would be sore from catching a guy like Tom Bradley who threw a solid sinker.

  112. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    New post

  113. JD - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Ghost, What may stop Jordan from being called up in September is that he's likely to be shut down before then. NatsJack pointed out that the most he's ever pitched is something like 75 innings and he's a post TJ pitcher as well. Likely to be shut down at about 140 innings. I completely agree with you that the Nats would be well served to fill the 5th slot in the rotation from within because they will need the financial resources for Desi and JZimm not to mention to cover the escalation in RZim, Werth and Gio's salaries. From what I've seen of Karns, I don't think he's anywhere close. I think the Nats were hoping that Solis would be in the mix but because of injuries he still needs at least a full year at AA. I have never seen Jordan pitch and NatsJack's reports is all I can by, that plus the results and what's most impressive in the results to me is the fact that he moved from A+ to AA seamlessly and that's a big step. The step to the majors is of course the biggest of all so the jury is still out. AAA isn't really relevant because that's more of a taxi squad situation.

  114. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Geez, first we have JZnn using Zim's last name, and now Taylor Jordan is pirating JZnn's first name. This is going to get confusing. 1a, you are right about the drink. I have settled that score, and also added Ghost's debt to me at his request. All is right in the world.

  115. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Choo caught stealing. Obviously worthless as a baserunner. :)

  116. JD - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    NatsLady, 2 demerit points for sarcasm.

  117. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I giggled, NL ;)

  118. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I did, too.

  119. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Here, JD, I found it.Joey Votto, 2 errors on one play. Get rid of him. /sarcasm

  120. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Thanks, 222. :-)1a, you are right about the drink. I have settled that score, and also added Ghost's debt to me at his request. All is right in the world.

  121. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Wait, Choo a sliding catch in CF? I thought he was hopeless as a fielder. Must have gotten a bad read.

  122. JD - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    NL, You are shaking and baking today.

  123. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    section 222, once michael taylor enters our discussion again, it will only get messier.

  124. Candide - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    A DC Wonk said…But in Espi's case, he's taking long looping swings and missing. It's not that he can't catch up. So, that could be anything from shoulder to wrist to not seeing the ball well, to learning bad "looping swing" habits, etc.Never understood the sense of those long, looping swings. Espi isn't the first one to fall victim to them, by a long shot, but once pitchers notice that's the way you swing, you're toast. Remember Shane Spencer? Hit 10 homers in only 27 games/73 plate appearances his rookie year. Everyone was going nuts over the kid. But even then, I could see he had that huge swing that took a path from above the strike zone, down below it, and back up again. His bat probably didn't spend more than an inch or two in the strike zone. Not surprisingly, the rest of his career didn't bear any resemblance at all to his rookie season, though he somehow managed to play until he was 32.

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