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Hitting the halfway point on a high

Jun 30, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT

Associated Press

NEW YORK — There have been plenty of days over the last three months when the Nationals don’t look anything like a World Series contender, an offensively challenged, defensively sloppy bunch that has put forth way more lifeless performances this season than anybody expected.

But there have also been a handful of days — though admittedly only a few, and usually scattered about — when these Nationals do put it all together and walk away from the ballpark having every reason to believe they can go on the kind of sustained tear that defined their breakthrough 2012 season.

Today was one of those days. Whether it’s a positive omen of more good things to come or just another blip in a mediocre season remains to be seen. But as they showed during a 13-2 demolition of the Mets, the Nationals do have the ability to overwhelm any opponent they face.

“We know we’ve got the lineup that can go out any given day and put up 15 hits and 10 runs, and it just hasn’t happened,” said Adam LaRoche, who ignited this offensive explosion with a second-inning homer off Zack Wheeler. “This isn’t going to happen every day, obviously, but I think it should a lot more often than it has.”

The season is now officially halfway complete, and the Nationals sit one game over the .500 mark at 41-40. They’ve hovered right at, right above or right below sea level for the last six weeks, never getting real hot, never getting real cold. But they’ve now won seven of their last 11 games, and tomorrow they’ll get their most-important player back after a lengthy absence.
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  1. David Proctor - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Okay, so the Nats are .581 with Harper in the lineup. If we go .581 in the second half, that's 88 wins. That might get it done, it'd be close. I think 90 is more likely. Could we slightly overperform that .581 mark with LaRoche not being cold as ice, Rendon replacing Espinosa, etc. I think so.

  2. A DC Wonk - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    He has one decent game and you try to make it a referendum on the whole season…What pisses me off is I have defended Span up until about 2 weeks agoAbout a week and a half ago is when he started heating up. As somebody pointed out: he's hitting .342 with five extra-base hits in his last 10 games.

  3. SonnyG10 - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Got to stay healthy and got to have a better second half.

  4. A DC Wonk - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    To go along with David Proctor's post:If we can, on average, win 2 of 3 when Gio/JZim/Stras pitch, and go .500 when the other two pitch (whoever they may be) — which is exactly what we did in the last five games — that's a .600 pace.

  5. SonnyG10 - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Whoopie! MASN will replay today's game at 11:30 tonight. Get to watch for a change.

  6. baseballswami - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Missed most of it but the DVR was running.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Wonk, a totally realistic scenario, in my opinion.

  8. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Puig out in the 8th. With LA leading 6-0 I doubt he'll get another chance–today, that is.

  9. Eric - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I think it's pretty cool about Desi breaking Dunn's record for total RBI's in a single month. Who'd a thunk it two years ago?

  12. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    The Nats defense was the worst in the NL over the first half. Harper, Span and Werth were too often replaced by Lombo Moore, or Kobernus in LF and/or RF with Span the only constant in CF. The OF looks to be restored to its pre-season trio, with Werth now dodging the scoreboards in RF with Harper safely back in LF. Zim and Desi were dreadful early on. Desi has become spectacular, and Zim less error-prone. Rendon is still learning and figures to get better. The defense will be better in the 2nd half.The seasoned vets, Zim, Werth and ALR, always seem to pick it up in the 2nd half. As Zim's shoulder continues to heal, and Werth's problems, whatever they are, go away, those 3 could be big in the 2nd half, just as they were last year. Harper looks to return, soon, and Ramos. Rendon is a big upgrade over Danny in the lineup. The offense will be better in the 2nd half.Haren failed, and Detwiler's back has been balking. Jordan appears to be an adequate replacement for Haren, and Rizzo still has Ohlendorf to plug into the rotation should Detwiler's back continue to be a problem. The top 3 are among the best in baseball, if not the very best. The rotation will be no worse than in the 1st half, and could be better if Jordan pans out in the 2nd half. Detwiler's back appears to me to be the big question mark.The pen has been fixed. Krol, Abad, and Ohlendorf (if he is not needed to start), have plugged the holes and given Davey much more to work with than he had in the 1st half. The pen looks to be a real strong point in the 2nd half.That team is an impressive collection of under-achievers and DL absentees from the 1st half. The 2nd half could be a completely different story. I would not bet against those guys.

  13. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    They are in the 12th in Pittsburgh. Hopefully the Brewers will be tired when they get here.

  14. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Sorry, make that the 13th.

  15. BigCat - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Espi is now 6 for 53 at Syracuse with 2 doubles and 30 K's. Thats a .113 avg. I really really wish he would shut it down and get his shoulder operated on so he could start his rehab. He has too much talent to be dong this.

  16. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Five infielders. Let's see if this works.

  17. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Bases loaded. Got nothing against the Pirates but I want it to go on and on and on…

  18. NatsLady - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    And the Brewers got the double play. On to the 14th.

  19. MicheleS - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    I like games like today. Laughers are always fun to see. Let's hope this extra inning MIL game benefits us as well

  20. NCNatsie - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Nice pics, NL, but my favorite photo of Harper is — and may always be — the one from last year's WAPO Sunday mag article on him. It shows him against an ocean of green outfield grass. He appears to be squatting. Thet is, until your eye catches the ball, and then you realize that his feet are not on the ground, that he is leaping, prodigiously, to catch the ball. I don't know from what game it was taken, or if he did in fact catch the ball, but it is a brilliant photo.I used it as my wallpaper last year, but have lost it and gone to another Nats photo.

  21. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Bryce Harper ‏@Bharper3407 1mProbably going to sleep in my uniform tonight since I am really excited and ready to be back! Little league days! #Nationals #TimeToGo

  22. SCNatsFan - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Hey with Harper back you never know…

  23. Doc - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    I agree BigCat on your concern for Espi.Why doesn't Rizzo step in and make a decision?This is a ridiculous waste of time and talent.Things are going from bad to worse. I mean pretty soon he's playing 2nd/SS up in Vermont.

  24. MicheleS - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Because they cannot force Espi to have surgery.. and if it takes demoting him until he gets fixed, then that is what they will do. After all, the only time that is being wasted is Espi's time and it's his talent too and right now he is diminishing his talent (and his trade value)

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    As Michele said: (a) you can't force somebody to have surgery.But let me add (b) the shoulder might not be what the problem is! It might be bad mechanics, or wrist, or psychological, or that he's not seeing the ball well. (Anyone remember how well Guzman hit after he got eye surgery?)I'm not saying it _isn't_ his shoulder, but I'm mystified as to how so many are certain that is _is_.To say "the results speak for themselves", which some say, is silly. The results say that there is a problem, the results don't say what that problem is.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    DC Wonk, I agree with you. A whole lot going on inside of Espinosa's brain.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Long before Bryce ran into the outfield wall there were some questioning the effectiveness of Bryce batting against LHPs. Here's his 2013 slashes:Against RHPs .337/.435/.692/1.128 and vs LHPs .174/.269/.348/.617June 30, 2013 8:42 AM Joe Seamhead said… Ghost you'd play Lombo in CF,with Moore in right against LHP? Eww, I don't like that OF at all. June 30, 2013 6:46 PM jeffwx said… Ghost, only you have the power to platoon Bryce Harper. That is the greatest move in the history of baseball. Like platooning Ruth with Joe Dugan. joe & jeff, simply shock value as you have 2 batters well below Mendoza when facing LHPs. Rizzo had the same problem with Nyjer and you saw what the Brewers did, they created a platoon of Nyjer/Gomez and it worked well.The Nats need to find their Gomez as their 4th outfielder. Not sure who it would be and while they're at it find the lefty bench power bat who can hit more than .133

  28. karlkolchak - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    A DC Wonk – the shoulder is still the most likely culprit until he proves it isn't by getting it fixed. He's facing AAA pitching now. The year of his recall he put up a .295/.349/.463 slash line at Syracuse and presumably is a much more experienced hitter now. Heck, Marrero is batting .300 and putting up an .842 OPS there this year, while Eury Perez is hitting .302 and Kobernus .333–and those guys have not yet demonstrated any ability to hit MLB pitching. Espinosa is both helpless and hopeless until he has that surgery. If he has it and is still struggling, THEN we can entertain the alternatives because clearly nothing else is working.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I just don't like your alternative. I wish we had a better RH option than Moore, but we don't. Personally, I never want to see him, or Lombo in the OF in a close game.Either of them are nightmares for pitchers.

  30. paul brandt - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Joe/Seam, agree, what about Francoeur? love his arm and perhaps new scenery would do him well.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Joe, totally agree. The alternatives that the Nats have aren't working in the outfield. Time to upgrade for a RH 4th outfielder.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/06/30/dan-haren-may-have-been-more-hurt-than-he-thought/Interesting although there's no guarantee that this will fix Haren but the game is so mental that maybe just maybe it will help. July 8th.

  33. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Ghost@ 9:07 pm, I agree with that. I don't know wher they will find one.

  34. paul brandt - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    ok, does this mean you guys don't like my Francoeur idea or are you just ignoring me? haha…I would take him over all of our reserve R handed OF's right now hands down and would be a great defensive replacement in R field for Werth late in a game.

  35. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    speaking of strikeouts, I just saw this.The game ends on a Ryan Howard strikeout. He is 0-for-20 with 11 strikeouts. The Phillies are a season-high 5 games under .500. —

  36. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Was Frenchy ever good? Seriously? I know he was a high draft pick but they have been laughing about him for years.

  37. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Sorry, Paul, I read the link to Haren, got side tracked. Francoeur available?

  38. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Not sure that we need another outfielder that basically can't hit his weight.

  39. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    I haven't read the full conversation but is somebody suggesting we platoon Harper? His numbers against LHP aren't great, but he's not going to learn to hit LHP unless we let him do it. He'll be fine.

  40. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    NL, I had read yesterday that Cholly was going to bench Ryan Howard. Three more K's today may seal that deal.

  41. paul brandt - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Joe, yes Royals DFA'd him so he would be cheap, was just an idea, love his arm, had a "good" year in 2011 but maybe he's done…would give Werth a breather late in the game in RF and maybe, just maybe, a new team would get him going…like i said, just an idea.

  42. Eric - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    I agree: give Harper a chance to work it out against LHP. If he's having the same problem in a year or two, maybe then consider addressing it via platooning.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Ghost@ 9:07 pm, I agree with that. I don't know wher they will find one.As teams are declared DOA on July 1st, Rizzo will have some to choose from. There are a few OFs that can play defense that kill LHPs. Guess who owns this slash line against LH starters: .321/.367/.571/.938

  44. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Well, last year Hunter Pence became available, but not to us. We didn't need him last year anyway.Ghost, I don't see Davey platooning Harper. He feels that Bryce needs to learn to hit LHP by hitting against it. Davey will be hard pressed to get Moore,Lombo, and Bernadina enough AB's to keep them sharp, not to mention Chad Tracy.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Ryan Braun will be swinging a bat in Washington on Tuesday (in the cage)http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/30/ryan-braun-finally-cleared-to-resume-swinging-a-bat/

  46. Eric - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Any thoughts as to who goes down for Harper tomorrow? I'm inclined to think Moore, but maybe a reliever? Davis?

  47. Drew - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Frenchy has been anemic at the plate this year, hitting .208 with two or three homers in more than 180 at bats. He still has a legendary arm in right field, but there's no indication he'd provide much pop in sporadic ABs off the bench.Pitching prospect update: Brett Mooneyham, the tall lefty from Stanford, throws six scoreless innings for Hagerstown, lowering his ERA to 2.27 and improving his record to 4-2.The kids are all right, as Pete used to say.

  48. paul brandt - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    the only one i wanted last year at the deadline was scutaro & i screamed to high heaven to all my buddies who follow baseball like me but wasn't on this site then to prove it…would have been a great replacement for espi but enough about last year, ghost who is it?

  49. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Harper hit .240 against LHB last year. Not great, but not bad enough to be needing to platoon him. Especially since he figures to improve in that area as he faces more LHB and matures. It's important to remember that Harper may be our best player, but he is in fact still growing as a player. We need to let him do that.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Well, last year Hunter Pence became available, but not to us. We didn't need him last year anyway.Ghost, I don't see Davey platooning Harper. He feels that Bryce needs to learn to hit LHP by hitting against it. Davey will be hard pressed to get Moore,Lombo, and Bernadina enough AB's to keep them sharp, not to mention Chad Tracy.You are right plus Rizzo doesn't believe in platoons. When you have a LH hitter, its generally sitting a day or 2 and then come off the bench as a pinch-hitter, but you can't change Rizzo.Keep in mind that Span is worse than Harper in facing LHPs this season.I just think if you want to change your luck you have to change what you know isn't working but that's just me. I'm sick of all the Mendoza level performance on this team.

  51. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Eric, Davey said it would be a pitcher. It has to be Davis, I'd think.

  52. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    That's interesting about Rizzo not believing in platoons. Davey sure does–to an extreme. I'm with Rizzo on this.

  53. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Ghost, again, the drop off in CF when you sit Span is frightening. Lombo is not a quality ML outfielder.

  54. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Is it just me or is this O's Yanks game BORING????

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Joe Seamhead said… Ghost, again, the drop off in CF when you sit Span is frightening. Lombo is not a quality ML outfielder. Agreed about Lombo. You can't change that noodle arm. His throws to 2nd or 3rd are fine but he can't make a throw to the plate.

  56. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Lombo is Juan Pierre in LF. Really need Harper back.

  57. paul brandt - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    ghost, so who is it??, please tell…yours of 948pm:Guess who owns this slash line against LH starters: .321/.367/.571/.938

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    I think Harp will improve against LHPs as his problem is more of these 3/4 throwers that sweep across the plate on him.Span on the other hand just hasn't been good against LHPs and he's a leadoff. I think you have to start giving Span some planned days off against lefties. Harp can play CF.Rizzo is a stubborn guy. His willingness to stick as long as he did with Espi and HenRod is proof of that. Insanity on overdrive.

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    paul brandt said… ghost, so who is it??, please tell…yours of 948pm:Guess who owns this slash line against LH starters: .321/.367/.571/.938 Somebody I hope they never bring back: Justin MaxwellJMax was known to stir up stuff in the clubhouse. I don't think anyone wants him back.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    NatsLady said… Lombo is Juan Pierre in LF. Come on, he's bad but nobody is as bad as Pierre. There's players that turn singles into doubles on his arm.

  61. NatsLady - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Lombo tries hard in LF. He gets reasonable jumps and catches balls when he's near them. But his arm. NO! Same reason he doesn't play 3B.

  62. Nats 128 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Buck Showalter has the perfect initials that describes him.

  63. Nats 128 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Lombos arm is better then Zimms at 3rd which isnt saying much.

  64. SonnyG10 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…Somebody I hope they never bring back: Justin MaxwellJMax was known to stir up stuff in the clubhouse. I don't think anyone wants him back.June 30, 2013 10:32 PMThat's interesting, Ghost, I had never heard JMax was a clubhouse problem. fwiw, I don't want him back either.

  65. Nats 128 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Why are people picking on Lombo. The guy does whatever management has asked him to do. Hes a bench player who has had to play more than necessary becuz of all the injuries. Nats were fortunate to have him.

  66. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    A DC Wonk – the shoulder is still the most likely culprit until he proves it isn't by getting it fixed.If it's not the shoulder, getting surgery on it just to prove that it isn't the problem seems like medical malpractice.

  67. Drew - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    Talk of dealing for a bench bat made me wonder what happened to the guys Rizzo dealt for Jonny Gomes.Looks like the Reds released Bill Rhinehart in August 2012. BR doesn't list him playing anywhere this year.The other player, lefty reliever Chris Manno, has a 5.58 ERA for the Reds' AA affiliate.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    SonnyG10, clubhouses are just like corporate offices and there is snitches and brown-nosers and BSers and the like. I didn't witness any of that but I was told a story once from a player who was traded and it makes sense.We always thought he had pictures of Rizzo ;)

  69. A DC Wonk - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Bottom line on the WaPo article on Haren:Haren posted a 3.58 ERA in 13 starts after coming back from the first disabled list stint of his career. If the rest can make him an effective starter, it would stabilize the back of the rotation. If he’s the same pitcher he has been all year, the Nationals would at least know it with plenty of time to spare before the July 31 trade deadline.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    Wonk, agreed but again if Detwiler can get back to April form, the Nats have 4 very capable pitchers which is all you need for the post-season.If Taylor Jordan stays for a while and can do his job, watch out!

  71. Drew - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Actually, I thought Jmax had a very good reputation as a smart guy who came from a fine family.Speaking of former Nats prospects, remember Michael Burgess, the power hitting outfielder the Nats dealt to the Cubs in the Gorzy deal?I had missed this, but Houston picked him up last year with the first pick of the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft.Burgess is struggling in AA and he'll turn 25 in October.

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    Drew said… Actually, I thought Jmax had a very good reputation as a smart guy who came from a fine family.Absoutely. Smart, great family, hosted teammates at his home many times for dinners.The guy just can't hit RHPs.

  73. SonnyG10 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Yeah, I always thought JMax was a nice guy…but then I used to think O.J. Simpson was too. Live and learn.

  74. SonnyG10 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    Well, I'm off to watch the replay of today's game since I didn't get to see it earlier today. This should be fun. Good nite, folks!

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    SonnyG10, I think nobody signs onto this team until they pass the Werth test.

  76. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Maxwell is a good outfielder,but has never hit to his potential anywhere he has played in MLB. My son played select and AAU travel ball with him growing up until college, and through those experiences we saw many sides of the developing JMax. I still follow his career closely, and wish the best for him. He seems to have found a good place for himself in Houston, if he could only stop getting hurt. Justin's folks were always very classy.

  77. d'grviii 8 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Justin Maxwell, classy. Ghost of Steve M, not so much.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    d'grviii 8 said… you got me pegged.

  79. pwilly - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Good weekend for the Nats. All they need to do is win series. Don't worry about the Braves, Phillies, Reds, or winning the next 10 games. Forget about last year, it has nothing to do with this year. Just put you're head down and concentrate on the next series. That's how they played last year.

  80. baseballswami - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    Yes, yes, yes! That is exactly the right attitude!

  81. Doc - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    So Drew, Mooneyham is out of Stanford?So what's the Nats' score now? Stanford 3(Davis,Stor,Mooneyham)– Princeton 1 (Olly)But can they play baseball?

  82. Drew - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    The Nats seem to have a few favorite college programs. Rendon, Rick Hague, Hagerstown catcher Craig Manuel and former Nats farmhand Chad Mozingo played at Rice.Jeff Kobernus and Tony Renda came from Cal Berkeley.

  83. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    At some point they need a ten-game win streak. They aren't going to make up 6-7 games one day at a time. They need a big spurt to make it a sustainable horse race they can win with maybe everything coming down to the final weekend. They can't play for the WC. The WC sucks. They have to be playing to beat the Braves for the NL East championship. Last six are on the road — St. Louis and Arizona. Very tough.

  84. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    They won the NL least last year by going ten out of eleven in early August, then hanging on by their fingernails. Need a comparable streak this year, preferably soon.

  85. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    "Guess who owns this slash line against LH starters: .321/.367/.571/.938"I don't know, but I know you like Willingham, so I figure it's probably him.

  86. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Ah. I now see that it is Justin Maxwell. He would be better than what we've got.

  87. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    So I read on the Internet from a guy I don't know, who heard a story one time from an unnamed player who was traded, that J-Max stirred [stuff]. Probably by gossiping. Shouldn't be that hard to figure out who played on the Nats while Maxwell was here, and then was traded. Can't be that long a list.

  88. Doc - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    A healthy Jusin Maxwell might fit. But he's on the DL with a concussion. Not to make light of a serious concern, but some of the Nats bench strength hits like they are suffering from such a syndrome.

  89. Ron In Reston - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Doc said…."Nats bench strength"I think so far the Nats bench strength is that the bench has been able to support all the dead weight it's been holding all season :/The pen has been fixed, the rotation has its current band-aid, Harper is back with Ramos soon to follow (we all hope…and for the rest of the season, not just two weeks) so now it's time to prune the deadwood….I'm looking at you, Chad. in fact I think "Deadwood" is what he has stamped on his bat, a la "Wonderboy" in the The Natural. It's certainly befitting of his performance this year. Duke was great for us last year, stunk it up this year and now he's gone. Tracy was great for us last year, is stinking it up this year……so, time to go now.

  90. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Y'all do realize that there's a new, July, post, right?

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