Skip to content

Nats eat up Phillies bullpen

Jun 20, 2013, 4:59 AM EDT

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — On a team loaded with young star power, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond have emerged as the most vocal leaders inside a clubhouse that this season has been far more tense than joyful. Werth, the veteran with World Series experience, and Desmond, the mature-beyond-his-years shortstop, spoke late Tuesday night about the need for this team to stop putting pressure on itself, establish its own identity and show up Wednesday ready to “eat somebody’s face.”

It’s one thing to talk about it. It’s quite another to go out and actually do it, making the exploits of Werth and Desmond at Citizens Bank Park on this night particularly impressive.

With their teammates completely silenced all evening by Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, Werth and Desmond delivered three clutch hits late, with Werth driving in the Nationals’ first run in the seventh, then the game-tying run in the ninth and Desmond capping it off with the 11th-inning grand slam that gave his team a captivating 6-2 victory that might well have been this club’s best win of the season.

“We got lucky. We stole this one,” Werth said. “It was one of those games that you need if you’re going to go on to win the division. You need a bunch of wins like this.”
Read more

  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    James Gandolphini. Rest in Peace.

  2. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    This one is on Werth. Desmond kept striking out with men on base, all game long, trying to hit the Espinosa memorial 5-run HR – Desi Ks with 1 on in the 2nd, 2 on in the 7th, and 2 on in the 9th. All rally killing ABs. He was terrible right up until hitting the game winner, when he finally dialed back his swing to actually try and put a ball in play, and, naturally, he finally hits his 4-run HR.I'll take it.Excuse me while I clean off my rose colored glasses. Gonna need 'em, again, for tonight. Man, that Kool Aid tasted good. Gotta make a fresh batch in the AM.Willie O., I share your sentiments about Tony Soprano.

  3. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Danny has flat-lined in Syracuse. He is now hitting .095, with 4 Ks in 4 ABs, last night. Danny and Nats management may be the only 2 entities left who do not think Danny's shoulder is affecting his swing.He is not getting better. He is getting worse, and worse, and worse. They are ruining that kid. Stop it now, and fix that shoulder.

  4. Dave - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Laddie, I'm with you on the shoulder. Okay, Danny's not in the bigs now, he's in AAA. Nothing to lose. Fix it now, be ready for spring training.Thanks for the grand salami, Desi. Bring on the Rockies.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Laddie, what do you when they claim the MRI was clean on the shoulder and shows the tear healed properly?

  6. Section 135 - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Ian Krol more than makes up for Morse(considering many we're hoping to trade Morse for a loogy) and that doesn't even include AJ Cole. I know Span has been struggling but Morse was gone after this year no matter what and we have pieces for several years because of that trade. The problem with Span is Ecks adjustments and his forgetting how to walk.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Mark writes…It happened because [Desi's] swing changed over the course of the game. "I don't think it does. I know it does," Desmond said. "I can feel it. That's just part of being a player, as opposed to be on the other side. You've got to make adjustments. You can't just continue to do the same things over and over. You've got to adjust." Werth said, "Hopefully, this is a start and we can build on this."Baseball is amazing where you can go from zero to hero quickly. Desi was 0-4 with 3 K's in that 0-4 and gets his wish to redeem himself.On pitch #5 in a 1-2 count, the ball was up and in and the ump made the right call (confirmed by Pitch F/X) even though Charlie Manuel was very animated in his dugout. The call was not botched and it might have forced Stutes to get too much of the plate. Pitch F/X also identified the pitch as a near 84 mph slider low in the zone. The Baseball Gods answered Desi's and NatsTown's pleas for 1 more chance and again I say thank you.http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=452741&game=gid_2013_06_19_wasmlb_phimlb_1&batterX=78&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif

  8. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    WODL:"Babe Ruth never won a single Golden Glove."Yeah, uh, lemme know when Choo becomes anywhere near that productive and I'll happily write off his defense.

  9. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Was Choo a free agent? I thought he was traded. Yes, he was. Why are some people talking like we missed out on signing him?

  10. jeeves - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Exactly Laddie, re Werth. I've been a bit down on Jason this year but he sure is coming around. A veteran, like him, stepping up to the plate, is so big for the team. I've always been one of Desi's biggest fans along with Unlyd and Jane B. I still am, but last night he was a tad fortunate, a couple of extra chances, but, at least he took advantage of them.Enjoyed your comments in the last thread, William. And, I, like you get fed up with the Legion of Doom references. People who make them are a little too self-righteous for my liking. On the other hand, John C, did respond with a very well expressed comment. The dialogue between you two is what posting should be all about. That is reasonable and respectful.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Section 135 said… The problem with Span is Ecks adjustments and his forgetting how to walk.9th inning, 3-0 count. Papelbon throws 3 straight balls to Span before delivering a strike. FP thinks Span will take pitch #5 and Span instead of going with the pitch to LF swings early and weakly pulls the ball to 1st base and it somehow gets under the diving Howard and the 2nd baseman gets to it and throws low to Papelbon who ran over to cover 1st for an infield hit.Span's speed turned a sure out into a hit as the 2nd baseman had to hurry his throw. The end result was great getting a hit out of it, but it brings you back to should Span have taken that 5th pitch and tried to coax a walk out of a 3-2 count?

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Eric, are you on the same sleep schedule as me?

  13. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Also, the last paragraph of this article on the Choo trade shows why you never trust a word a GM says.Indians trade Choo to Redshttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20121211/indiana-trade-shin-soo-choo-reds.ap/

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    NatsLady, Choo is a Free Agent as of now after this season although the Reds are trying to extend him which probably won't happen as Boras is now Choo's agent. That's a good article and in the short-term, Arizona and Cincy came out clear winners while Cleveland has to hope Bauer and Stubbs turn out better in the long run, but Didi Gregorius right now is looking like the best long-term piece in the deal for Arizona.

  15. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Ghost, you work the count to get ahead. I have no problem with him swinging at the pitch, unless it was ball 4

  16. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Apparently, Ghost!NL, I'm not complaining that we didn't get Choo, and I really like Span, I just think in a hypothetical world where we could choose JUp or Choo, I'd take Choo. We're doing well enough with the long ball… What we need is consistency at the plate and base runners. I still think/hope Span will get there (again) for us.

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    alexva said… Ghost, you work the count to get ahead. I have no problem with him swinging at the pitch, unless it was ball 4 Span got ahead because Papelbon threw 3 straight balls and 2 of them weren't even close. Span didn't work the count. He started with a 3-0 count.I was with FP that Papelbon started the inning wild and he should take 2 strikes unless on the 3-1 you get "your" pitch. That was a down in the zone on the outer 1/3 fastball. I'm thrilled with the result. It's the plan and approach I question.Some of the best OBP guys work counts to get those walks including taking pitches like Span saw on pitch #5 in the 3-1 count while also hoping for a mistake pitch.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Eric said… Apparently, Ghost! My excuse for lack of sleep today is I went to a sports bar earlier in the day to watch the NYYs and the Dodgers and did something I hadn't done this year — I had 2 hot dogs along with my beverages and woke up about 3 hours ago on 3 hours of sleep with the worst indigestion ever.I swear I will never eat another hot dog again….until next time! Dodger Dogs just look so good.

  19. Candide - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I would just like everyone to know, I turned the TV off in disgust after the top of the 7th inning last night. It was only then that the Nats came back to win it. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.So this is to announce that my absence can be bought. Just PayPal me $100.00 U. S. before 5:00 pm today and I'll just watch the Netflix DVD that's been sitting by the TV the last week.

  20. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Ghost, no problem with your take on it either. I just don't think it's a no brainer

  21. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Fell asleep in front of the tv, having clicked away from the game in the middle innings. Clicked back to see the same score in the top of the 7th inning, then toddled off to bed. The cat alarm went off an hour early this a.m., and we all went back to sleep after activating the snooze mode. Woke up about 15 minutes later than usual. Fed the cat breakfast (priorities and all that), went upstairs to check email, and…wait, what? [shakes head, blinks eyes, and rechecks game results email] Well, I'll be [darned]. Took a quick look at this post before heading downstairs for my own breakfast (priorities and all that). I think I'll be watching the DVR later. Niiiice.

  22. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    watching our Netflix show after going our for dinner, saw Werth make it 2-1, turned game back on in top of 10th and watched to conclusion. woohoo!went up to bed to join my significant other. I'll stop now to avoidthis comment has been removed by the blog administrator

  23. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    And I'm with William and Laddie on Gandolfini. Understanding that the man wanted to move on from such roles, was he perfect for that one, or what?

  24. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    lol

  25. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    (for alexva)

  26. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    1a, if you didn't see Gandolfini as a gay hit man in The Mexican it's worth a look

  27. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    One thing I have to say is that I never take a win, a comeback, a save, a run , a hit, for granted. They seem so much rarer and more precious that I have to savor them. I truly feel that Werth and Desi are stepping into a leadership void right now. And as for Span, there are those who mention his lack of power. Our manager and a lot of our fans just love the long ball. Span and Lombo are especially smirked at for their weakness. There are many ways to be valuable on a team. We have to have some speed- which I wished we actually used on the bases- and we have to have guys who make contact , bunt- yes, the much maligned bunt, have versatility, can move runners. Not everyone needs to be the homer or K type. Span is making weak contact right now, and right at someone. I love his outfield D, though. I have seen many times where the new guy, with the expectations, in a new league, struggles for a while– think Jayson Werth, Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn. I think Span will work out over time. This Krol kid sure dies ease the Mikey pain.

  28. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    It also seems apropos to have another cup of coffee. (corrected for typo)Thanks, alexva, will look for that one. Remembered reading good reviews of it but couldn't recall the name of the flick.Also, it seems apropos to quote Mr. Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri:"To da victor goes da spoils"

  30. SCNatsFan - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Please build on this win

  31. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I seem to recall a big discussion not long ago about the Nats never ever walking. That does not seem to be the case right now. I feel that most things have settled now– starters back, Big O in the wings, bullpen better, more hits, defense good. Now it feels like we need the clutch hits with risp. Is that the last hurdle?

  32. baseballswami - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    And that piece of crap, Papelbon, after blowing two saves in three chances, calls out his team for poor fundamentals. What a guy.

  33. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Papelbon is not happy with his team. Cliff Lee is not happy. Colbert is not happy. When your three top pitchers are not happy even though you are only one game more "out of it" than the Nats–? Not a good sign.

  34. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    And, I, like you get fed up with the Legion of Doom references. People who make them are a little too self-righteous for my liking.I make those comments from time to time. I don't think I sound self-righteous when I make them.But is tiring to read some really silly stuff such as "we're going to lose" "we're going to get shut out" or the multiple comments that Span=Nyjer. I mean, really? Span could be sleeping, have a pulled hamstring, and still play CF better than Nyjer ever could.Is it self-righteous to call out some of the comments such as these? Or, rather, not any comment in particular, but the volume of them, from a dedicated minority of posters?(from earlier in the day)Nats are becoming the joke of baseball. Horrific.and I hate to say, Nats will finish 4th, ahead of Miami andHarper is going to be rushed back, play for about a week, then be out for the rest of the season. Watch. Then, from game thread:(in the first inning)Game winning homer by Michael Young in the 1st. We can't do two run comebacks.at 8:30This game is going to be over by 9 pm. orwhere is Dicky V? "Get the brooms out"orthey have been mailing this season in orThis team loses 90 games this year. BOOK IT.orZim looks like he could give a rats you know what orZimm and Ian just make me sick. or[Zimm]'s no leader. And he's no player either. Dump himor[Span} Worst acquisition since Nyger Morgan. I think the "Legion of Doom" moniker seems to fit.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    according to mark's instant analysis, we pretty much no-hit Phillies after Young's HR. Impressive!once this lineup starts producing, I can see Nats going on a roll.

  36. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Wonk, makes me (almost) happy I was working until Clipp's 1.2 innings…

  37. m - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Well I will certainly take this win. I prefer this type of Werth leadership style – the "walking the walk" as opposed to "talking the talk". Desmond made the most of his second chance or should I say fourth chance. It doesn't matter how many chances he did eventually deliver. I do have a few observations. This guy Span is a piece of work – Soft fly to left or weak grounder to 1st. It is the same every bat. He lucked out on the grounder under Howard's glove. It was just another weak grounder. I thought Span was supposed to be superior to Revere. I would prefer Revere in a heartbeat over Span. Revere at least has some life. Lastly what is up with LaRoche. He head is not in the game . He almost got picked off on the pop-up to Howard. Another example is Kobernus's attempted bunt which made no sense. It is another example of guys going to bat with no clear plan or an incorrect plan. I believe it is on the manager to correct these mental mistakes. Johnson is falling down in this area.

  38. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Ghost, I have no excuse for staying up late, it's just what I do for some reason. Granted, I was up a little later than usual last night due to being in a celebratory mood.I get up so early because my 8 month old likes to wake up 30 – 60 minutes before my alarm goes off…he's lucky he's so cute! ;)

  39. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    btw is RO still on roster or was he sent down after Rockies game?

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Ross O is in the bullpen.

  41. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Revere, right this minute, may be hitting better and running better, but he is NOT a good fielder, you can see that with your eyes, and with the stats.Revere -1.4Span +5.0It is interesting, however, that Revere, after a terrible start, worked expensively with Cholly and the Phillies hitting coach. If you read the Filly sites in April and early May, whew on Revere, stinko. So I would give it some time with Span.

  42. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    "Laddie, what do you when they claim the MRI was clean on the shoulder and shows the tear healed properly?"I say:BA – .095TB – 2OBP – .231OPS – .326And, most telling of all, 14 Ks in 21 ABs.I never thought he was a very good hitter, but he can't be that bad. If he is playing without any physical problem, and playing like that, he should not be playing professional baseball.Remember when the Nats also told us, just last year, that Zim's shoulder was not a problem – right before they gave him that cortisone shot because, uh, it WAS a problem. And how they asserted that La Roche could play a full year of baseball with a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, until La Roche said he couldn't either throw or swing properly.Who am I supposed to believe, the Nats and Danny, or my lying eyes?

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    If anybody has watched any Philly games not against the Nats, they'd know that Ben Revere is an adventure in CF. He takes bad routes, get's inept jumps and has a horrible arm.He makes a few high lite reel plays (very few).Go on any Philly blog and all you read is how the fans wish they still had Shane Victorino.I'll take Spans defense over Revere every time.

  44. SCNatsFan - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    IDK Laddie, you deomote a guy who is struggling and is probably changing his swing every day and he continues to flail then confidence has to get shot. I don't think you can assume danny isn't healthy because of his numbers. e's better then those numbers (obviously) but you wonder if he is dreading the walk to the plate right now thinking how bad things are going togo this at bat.

  45. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Thanks NJ.Span is without any doubt better than Revere. I don't care if Revere has some points on Span in average or OBP. btw OPB difference is of .002. is that even significant by any measure?revere is faster, I will give him that but that's about it.

  46. SCNatsFan - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I guess part of my prolem with Span is I thought we were going to go out and get a true leadoff guy, someone who creates some havoc on the basepaths. That isn't Span; probably never was but that's what I thought we bought. When I see our leadoff guy get on base down by one in the ninth I thought we'd have a guy who could think about stealing that base – like so many guys do against our team.

  47. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    "A veteran, like him, stepping up to the plate, is so big for the team."Werth had that look when he came to the plate in the 9th. I expected him to get a hit, and he expected it, too. You could just tell. And then in the 11th, he had an approach. He was going to wait for his pitch. He didn't get it, and took the walk, moving the other 2 runners up to 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. He lets the game come to him, and acts, accordingly. Espinosa could have done the same thing numerous times, and he's not the only one.If Desi wants to know how to win games, he doesn't have to ask Davey. Just watch Werth.

  48. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Here are some thoughts on Corey Kluber to back up the mention of his progress this year. OTOH, this writer (fantasy perspective) doesn't have much use for Dan Haren (bottom of article).Corey Kluber is a former fourth round pick with a career 4.42 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in the minor leagues. He posted a 5.14 ERA and 1.49 WHIP as a rookie with Cleveland last season, although that did come with a 54:18 K:BB ratio over 63.0 innings. In 2013, he’s quietly become interesting. Over his last five starts (not including one in which he lasted just two innings thanks to a rain delay), Kluber has a 2.31 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 32:5 K:BB ratio over 35.0 innings. While Kluber’s last start came at home against a struggling Nationals team, the other four included @Tex, @NYY, @Bos and at home against Detroit, making the stretch all the more impressive. He has a lack of pedigree and is 27 years old, but if you ignore the small sample, here’s a pitcher with a 24.6 K% and 4.6 BB% paired with an 11.0 SwStr%. In other words, those are the peripherals of a star. Seriously, take a look at the company of pitchers who are strong in these areas, and see just how favorably Kluber stacks up. (Also notice how legit Hisashi Iwakuma has been). And that’s not even factoring in his accompanying 1.45 GB/FB ratio (and his 9.1 IFFB%). Kluber’s fastball has seen an increase in velocity the last couple of years, and he now relies on a cutter more so than in the past. Systems can’t agree if his breaking pitch is a curveball or slider, but it’s been a terrific offering no matter how it’s classified. He’s held left-handers to just a .235/.286/.374 line this season, and it’s probably safe to expect his .365 BABIP versus righties to drop moving forward. I for one certainly didn’t see this coming, and again, it’s been a small sample,….Hyping Corey Kluberhttp://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/fantasy-roto-arcade/mostly-mlb-notes-hyping-corey-kluber-loving-giancarlo-001038611.html?asid=53beaafa

  49. Joe Seamhead - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Well, everybody has a right to their own opinion.Revere has cost the Phillies a couple of games this year with lousy OF plays. If I'm on the mound pitching, I'll tell you there are few guys I'd rather have behind me in CF than Span.The pitching staff on this team is very good. They would be even better if they had a major league level outfielder playing LF every day. They would be a lot worse without Denard Span in center. As to his hitting, or lack there of, I agree that it's been a major disappointment. So far.At this point, I still see it as a prolonged slump. I also see a man who is a smart player that will probably work his way through it.Just my opinion.DC Wonk – great post at @ 9:04 a.m. [in my opinion]

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Eric, a terrific finish to a game in extra innings and an 8 month old. Yes, that spells some bouts of sleep deprivation!

  52. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    OTOH, Wonk @ 9:04, I imagine that those whose point of view differs may find it tiresome to read *our stuff. That's what the scroll bar is for, on both sides of the equation. OTOH, labeling/lumping others, whether as LOD or as Tasty Red Beverage Drinkers, isn't particularly conducive to good blog relations.

  53. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Oh, so that's where I put that other asterisk (*our*).

  54. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    "(H)e's better then those numbers (obviously) but you wonder if he is dreading the walk to the plate right now thinking how bad things are going to go this at bat."Maybe. But that's not what Danny is saying, himself. He says he feels more comfortable now than he has in a long time.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/06/19/danny-espinosa-embracing-return-to-minors-rediscovering-old-swing/The Nats have a long history of putting guys put on the field who are not completely sound. Harper was the latest, and he aggravated what was, obviously, a very uncomfortable injury, or, probably, several injuries. The team is paying for that decision, now. Harper, himself, says he should have gone on the DL.We'll see. You may be right. But I'll believe when I see it, as always.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… "Laddie, what do you when they claim the MRI was clean on the shoulder and shows the tear healed properly?"Who am I supposed to believe, the Nats and Danny, or my lying eyes? Well said and you could be right but they clearly admitted to the wrist problem.If it's not the shoulder, it's clearly the head.

  56. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    "If Desi wants to know how to win games, he doesn't have to ask Davey. Just watch Werth."I'm with you 100% with regard to Desi. The at bat that ended with the grand slam was very encouraging in that regard. It was like watching a metamorphosis play out during a single at bat. Pitch 1 and 2, the Desi we know; the rest of the pitches was some new guy who is able to protect and take borderline pitches for balls. It was amazing to watch!"Eric, a terrific finish to a game in extra innings and an 8 month old. Yes, that spells some bouts of sleep deprivation!"Not to mention I'm a 6 – 7 hour a night (at best) guy to begin with. I have yet to encounter a good book, song to learn, baseball game, video game, etc., that can wait until tomorrow ;).

  57. Joe Seamhead - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…If anybody has watched any Philly games not against the Nats, they'd know that Ben Revere is an adventure in CF. He takes bad routes, get's inept jumps and has a horrible arm.He makes a few high lite reel plays (very few).Go on any Philly blog and all you read is how the fans wish they still had Shane Victorino.I'll take Spans defense over Revere every time.June 20, 2013 9:18 AM ————————-////I read the Phillies' blogs almost every day. They detest Revere.I also read the Brave's blogs regularly. You want to see venom? Let's just say for fans whose team is in first place, the disdain shown for Justin and BJ is worse than usually seen from the Phillies fans.

  58. alexva - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    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

  59. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    natsfan1a, I agree that lumping people into categories and labeling them isn't helping civility. It's why you'll probably never see me use phrases like "Legion of Doom" or whatever. Of course, I also hate political parties, so I'm a little extreme in this regard ;).Anyway, I do think that there's a lot more gratuitous, hyper-indulgent negativity than positivity around here. But, it takes all kinds, and I suppose it's possible some people get annoyed by people saying things like, "Ugh, this is hard to watch. Come on Nats, make it happen!!!".

  60. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    alexva, after Kobernus fouled that first bunt, FP said, "now you can bunt" or something along those lines. So, clearly he felt it was an understandable play, just not with no strikes.

  61. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    natsfan1a said… OTOH, Wonk @ 9:04, I imagine that those whose point of view differs may find it tiresome to read *our stuff. That's what the scroll bar is for, on both sides of the equation. OTOH, labeling/lumping others, whether as LOD or as Tasty Red Beverage Drinkers, isn't particularly conducive to good blog relations.I hear what you're saying, but I disagree a bit.The reason is because this site is a site for Nats fans. Nats fans want the Nats to win. They want to have hope. Posting the "the Nats are a joke" or "Span=Nyjer" (actually, that poster was writing "Nyger", which is not how it's spelled) is probably a good post *somewhere else*, but not here.There is a reason that many of our active participants, many of our reasonable and constructive members, don't participate in game-time threads anymore. It's because the LoD is just too harsh.When I'm watching a game with a friend, and it's 2-0 in the first, and the friend starts saying, and keeps on saying "this game is hopeless, it's lost, the Nats suck", I want to tell the friend: "well stop watching! Stop being a neg-anon and stop bringing me down. We'll both have more fun if you go do something else. Unless you enjoy reveling in Nats' fan's disappointments."And, alas, that's how I feel about certain LoD posters during game threads.

  62. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Anyway, I do think that there's a lot more gratuitous, hyper-indulgent negativity than positivity around here. But, it takes all kinds, and I suppose it's possible some people get annoyed by people saying things like, "Ugh, this is hard to watch. Come on Nats, make it happen!!!". That kind of comment is fine. The comments that pronounce the game as over after two batters are, imho, legitimately annoying. Or saying "they don't care", or other similarly non-reality statements.

  63. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Drew, I'm actually with you on the political front, as I've shared on NJ or here from time to time.I learned a long time ago that, no matter what one does or says, it's going to displease/annoy somebody. Like the song said, "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself." [omg, did I just quote Rick Nelson? Yes, yes I did.]

  64. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    [Also, I guess maybe that could be taken another way. But I didn't write the lyrics, so there's that.]

  65. Caps Fan - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:57 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.

  66. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Wonk, that comment was meant to illustrate what, imo, would have to annoy the so-called "LoD" posters, in response to this from natsfan1a:"I imagine that those whose point of view differs may find it tiresome to read *our[*] stuff."

  67. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    "Drew, I'm actually with you on the political front, as I've shared on NJ or here from time to time."If you mean the comment about hating political parties, that was me :)

  68. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Ghost wrote: "If it's not the shoulder, it's clearly the head."Ding ding ding. (or the wrist).To just assert that it's the shoulder without knowing seems awfully foolish — unless you're the examining physician.(We all thought Cristian Guzman completely stank and was done for — and then he got eye surgery, and followed in 2007-09 with a cumulative .305 BA.)There's more than one possible reason for a slump. Shoulder, wrist, mechanics, not seeing well, not reading the pitches well, not thinking well, not adjusting, head space, etc.

  69. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Wonk, that comment was meant to illustrate what, imo, would have to annoy the so-called "LoD" posters, in response to this from natsfan1a:OK, I hear you. But then my other point is: this is a Nats Fans' site! They should expect to read stuff like "Come on Nats, make it happen!!!" I mean, that's the whole point here, right?I'm not saying that rooting against the Nats, or constantly pointing out negatives, or play-by-play reports of an O's game, etc., are wrong. I'm saying that they are wrong *for this site."To simplify: if a person doesn't like to read "Come on Nats, make it happen!!!", then they are at the wrong site.What if I went to a Phillie site, and got annoyed by posters who said they hated Werth, or got annoyed by posters who wrote that the Phillie are going to catch the Nats? Is my annoyance well placed? Of course not. That's what the Phillies' sites are for — they are for Phillie fans.So, too, here. If posters come on this site *only* when the Nats lose, or are losing, to spread gloom and doom — that's inappropriate and bad manners. It is _not_ the flip-side of those who come here to cheer the Nats, because this site *is* for Nats fans.

  70. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Honestly, what I see happening is, the hyper negativity takes hold, the folks who don't live and die by black and white predictions about the season get tired of it and lash out, and then the folks despairing and predicting that it's over lash out for not being tolerated. And, everyone's usually pretty jacked up by that point, so it gets ugly fast.In some cases I strongly suspect straight up trolling is happening. To modify an old metaphor, usually it involves a sense that one is happily fiddling away while they watch Rome burn.Overall, I find I have the most fun when I ignore trolling and things that seem to come from a place of total despair. It's just baseball, after all.

  71. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    "OK, I hear you. But then my other point is: this is a Nats Fans' site! They should expect to read stuff like "Come on Nats, make it happen!!!" I mean, that's the whole point here, right?"Yes, I agree, and to clarify further, I was basically saying I can't imagine anyone would be annoyed by such comments…but, it takes all kinds, so it's possible it gets to some.

  72. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    … and let me add one more thing.I rarely, rarely, call out the legion of doom comments. I usually ignore them. (But I also lament that reading in-game threads is not fun anymore, and I almost never do it if the Nats are losing).But what set me off this morning was the suggestion that using the phrase LoD was self-righteous.If you want to say Rizzo made a bad choice with player X, fine. But if you come here only when the Nats are losing, or have lost, to come further dump on the Nats, and do it repetively over and over and over, and you never come here when the Nats win — then find some other site. Or at least "man up" when you're called a member of the Legion of Doom.I would write: "you know who you are", but since the Nats won last night, they're probably not reading this morning.

  73. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Eric — you're right. A good deal of the comments are just trolls, and I do ignore them.But, just like a person who engages in civil disobedience should be prepared to sit in jail — so, too a person who engages in troll like behavior should be prepared to be called on his troll-like comments, and not accuse the accuser of being self-righteous.

  74. A DC Wonk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    ok. I'm done with that.for now ;-)

  75. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    For my part, I think we spend way too much time talking about how to talk in here, "managing the process," as opposed to the more interesting stuff, like baseball, or movie quotes. Having said that, FWIW I don't believe anybody has stopped posting here, nor has Mark been obliged to intervene, because of the Kook-ade drinker comments. Personally, I get more annoyed by the abundance of illiterate comments than ill-informed, gratuitiously negative, self-indulgent, deliberately provocative, or mean-drunk-on-a-rant comments, but that's just me. At least that's what they keep telling me in the program.

  76. Candide - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    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.

  77. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    "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.The man is not performing up to his historic mean. As Ghost said, it could be his head. As Candide thinks, he may just need some reps and a rework of his swing mechanics. I would suggest an eye exam, too. I am not kidding. He doesn't see the ball very well, at all, judging by all the bad pitches he swings at.I think it is fair to say every Nats fan would like to see Espinosa perform at the level that both Davey and Rizzo think he can perform. There is probably more commentary on Espinosa than on any other Nats player this year. We would all be happy if he made us all shut up.Given the history, not just with Danny, but with so many other players who have been "cleared" to play by management and medical staff, I am skeptical. One of the only accurate things Karl Marx ever said:"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, and second as farce."

  79. natsfan1a - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Oops. My apologies. Um, it was the lack of caffeine talking?Eric said… "Drew, I'm actually with you on the political front, as I've shared on NJ or here from time to time." If you mean the comment about hating political parties, that was me :) June 20, 2013 9:59 AM

  80. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    It's all good 1a!

  81. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    We were robbed of a run there because the Mets had some sort of rubberized temporary sign up in the outfield. Anywhere else in the outfield and we score a run there. So no whining about your luck today, Mets, and why don't you maintain your crappy field.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

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

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter