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Out of answers

Jul 4, 2013, 3:04 AM EDT

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Davey Johnson has tried to remain positive throughout the Nationals’ offensive struggles this season, insisting he has faith in his hitters and that he’s confident things will get better before it’s too late.

But after watching that lineup, on the heels of a 23-runs-in-48-hours explosion, turned into mincemeat by Wily Peralta, Kyle Lohse and the Brewers bullpen on back-to-back nights, the Nationals manager looked and sounded as hopeless as he’s been all year.

“It’s putting me in the looney bin,” Johnson said.

Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss left the Nationals right back where they started, sporting a .500 record, with a lineup that still can’t produce on a consistent basis and a pitching staff and defense that can’t be perfect even though they know they have to be given the offensive woes.
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  1. Scooter - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Something fun. Whilst filling out my scorecard tonight, I noticed that the Brewers' lineup had several players who aren't someone else:A center fielder who isn't CarGo; a catcher who isn't Matt LeCroy; a first baseperson who isn't Todd Helton; and a left fielder who isn't Jordan Schafer.(Of course, Rickie Weeks also isn't Jemile, but Rickie is by far the more famous brother. And they do have a leadoff-hitting right fielder who's not Ichiro, but it seems gauche to bring that up.)Finally, I think my vote for tonight wasn't counted, so I'd like to vote now for the Nationals to win tomorrow. Thank you.

  2. karlkolchak - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    "It's putting me in the looney bin," Johnson said.Welcome, Davey. Better late than never.

  3. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Never good to have a manager in the looney bin, but wait, I can see a Hollywood scrip–crazy manager allowed out of the mental ward but only to manage and only if accompanied by his wise-cracking hitting coach….

  4. Doc - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    It'd better be a big looney bin, because we're all headed there.I want the spot nearest the drinking fountain—if there are drinking fountains in looney bins!The looney part is that Peralta and Lohse are horse#@#t pitchers! I mean we beat Matt Harvey and his gang only to lose to these clowns!!!It ain't fair!!!!!!!!!

  5. karlkolchak - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    "We were in it to the end," Desmond said. "Early on in the season, we would just roll over, and that's a loss. But we fought. We were in that ballgame. The tying run came to the plate. We didn't win, but it was a step in the right direction."Egads – still more blowing smoke. This crappy game was "a step in the right direction?" You've GOT to be kidding me.

  6. SCNatsFan - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Tired of hearing how we are getting better at not losing by so much.

  7. d'grviii 8 - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    My scorecard tonight was full of F8, F7, F9, L6 and the like. Only one ground out all night. They only had five hits, but they were getting good wood on the ball. Bad luck or good outfield positioning by the Brewers? Who knows. But the offense wasn't rolling over and playing dead like Mark portrays it.Last night, no runs but eight hits and 10 LOB. Agsin, not total offensive futility like we saw earlier in the season. Desmond has a better grasp on reality than Zuckerman does.

  8. Almazar80 - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    You can have three hits per inning and not score. So what if they're hitting better? They're not scoring any runs. Last time I checked, if you can't score, you can't win.BTW, what are the chances that Rizzo gets a new contract after the dismal performance of this team this year? It looks like the no brainer picks of Stras, Harper and Rendon are paying off. Aside from that, what has he really assembled?

  9. Exposremains - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Dont worry About the offense.. They have scored 24 runs in the past 4 games. I was reminded of that today.

  10. karlkolchak - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    d'grviii 8 – Lohse is a flyball pitcher. The fact that they didn't hit ground balls against him doesn't mean anything.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I second Scooter's vote for today's game. Come on, Nats. It would be unpatriotic not to count our votes today, right? :-)On another note, another interesting (imo) piece from Mike Harris. This one is on independent league players. Some of the guys in the piece are former Nats. I recognized all of them except for Charlie Manning. For the life of me, I can't remember the dude. I think I may have been traveling the week of his debut, but still…

  12. Knoxville Nat - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Doc, we did not beat Matt Harvey, he owned us. We did however beat the Mets bullpen after Harvey was pulled from the game.

  13. Dave - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I prefer to agree with d'grviii 8's point: the Nats hit the ball hard last night. One ground out the entire game. True, eight Ks, but they whacked it pretty good–just right to gloves (mostly Gomez's).Today is a new day. GYFNG!

  14. BigCat - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Davey looked like a beaten man in the post game last night.

  15. BigCat - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    A beaten down old man ready for the pasture

  16. d'grviii 8 - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    This game was almost an exact duplicate of the last time the Nats faced Lohse, in Game 4 of the NLDS. That day he gave up a homer to LaRoche and not much else among all the fly balls. Yesterday it was a homer to Rendon and nothing else. The difference the last time was that Detwiler was better and Werth got to Lance Lynn in the 9th.

  17. m - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    We can try and try to will this team to score runs and win but they are who they are. They do not appear to be clutch hitters. To be brutally honest they are just not that good. Although I am not thrilled with some of Rizzo's player moves, or his farm system or his lack of scouting presence on the international front, I do not think it is his fault that this team is stuck in neutral. It is not DJ's or Eck's fault either. For instance I just know that Eck is not telling Span to pull everything weakly to first or second base. It appears that these guys are either stubborn or not the smartest guys in the tool shed when it comes to hitting. I don't think I am being negative but just honest. I am only commenting on what I am seeing over a reasonable sampling period.

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Oh, I see. They were on a West Coast road trip (late games = me no see) and then I was out of town. But I digress. Carry on.I think I may have been traveling the week of his debut, but still…

  19. NatsLady - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    m, actually, by the stats, they are OK as clutch hitters, in fact, they hit .262 in clutch situations (season) as opposed to overall batting average (non pitchers) of .241

  20. R Scollar - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Sorry to say this, but I think what we're seeing is exactly what they are. Embrace the mediocrity. Anyone else miss Morse? Yeah, I thought so.Deadline will be interesting…don't even think about mortgaging the future for a run. Instead, I think the Nats should prepare for it, starting with clearing the way for Zim to 1B. LaRoche still has enough left in the tank to not only be interesting to other teams, but to bring in a prospect or two.

  21. Secret wasian man - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    I was at game last night. Fireworks were nice. This is a very BORING baseball team. I think.500 would be good at this point. Also Spans fielding is great. But he is awful at the plate.

  22. Secret wasian man - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    For those of you who still think this team can turn it around, nurse Ratchitt is waiting for you. You can't polish a turd.

  23. m - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Natslady:If as you say they are okay as clutch hitters then what is the problem? Is there a problem? Maybe there is no problem aside from my expectation which might be out of line. Should I expect a 500 ball club. What do your stats say?

  24. mick - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    There are only 2 possible answers on the Nats:1) They are over rated and just not that good2) They are not motivated and playing to their abilitiesthere are NO other reason.If it is problem one, the answer would be to rebuild the team…they clearly only have 3 starting pitchers in my view. The other potential 2 starters they may already have so free agency they can avoid. Maybe it is Jordan, Purke, etc… who knows, maybe Giolotto in 1-2 years? They must rebuild bull pen…Clip is fine, Mathhues may be fine when back, Kroll is a keeper. Storen SUCKS, Abad is BAD and how many more years can Soriano go? Ths team has dead weight…Werth will be one year older and more injury prone eah season, ALR will only go down hill and Esppi is a FLOp period. Span has no power but is a great defensive player, with other good hitters he may fit.If it is problem two…this would be a good problem. The solution is to nicely tell Davey not to let the door hit is ass on the way out. His passive/aggressive style could be destroying this young group. Get a young firey manager who is fair and honest with his players. a manger who gives tough love when needed and will call out a n underachieving player. I personally believe that since this club won 98 last year, the talent is probably there and the problem is #2. Having said that…this team needs 2 more starting pitchers. I am done with Det. When the publlic address plays the music for our players that they choose, i recommend that Det choose the old Mr Softy ice cream music. He is as soft as I have ever seen a pitcher.Also, picking up this Kelly dude is fitting, he is batting 196, he will fit in well. Finally, I would have no problem giving Rizzo one more season to get this right, if the Lerners think so. The fat they have not resigned him tells me they are smarter than all of us

  25. Joe Seamhead - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I hope everybody on here has a great Independence Day, whether you're going to the game, or doing the BBQ thing, or whatever. God bless America, land of apple pie, cold beer, and baseball. It's a great country!

  26. mick - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    what up Wasian man?..missed you last night…more and more posters are seeing the unfortunate light with this squad…the defenders of this night mare would have denied the Titanic sinking, lol

  27. mick - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    amen Joe and add hot blondes too

  28. mick - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    BigCat said…Davey looked like a beaten man in the post game last night.you mean Norv Turner

  29. Unknown - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    At the park now. Time for a cold one!!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Perfect title "Out Of Answers". The Baseball Gods aren't helping this team but the Nats aren't helping themselves. 2 unearned runs. How different is this game if your deficit is 2-1.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Another beautiful day for Nats baseball! So much to look forward to and be thankful for. Baseball in the morning! What could be better?

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Davey's answer is batting Desmond #2

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    ESPN is doing a segment called "Coming Home" for returning troops. Amazing.

  34. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Who said, "We were in it until the end?" Desmond? or Custer?The virus has now gone pandemic, infecting Harper and every other player (possible exceptions, Rendon and a couple of pitchers; should quarantine Rendon in Syracuse, before he catches attitude — not altitude — sickness).How many people actually enjoyed that game? I see a couple of still-upraised hands . . . Good for you; by the end of the season you'll be able to move down from the mezzanine to your choice of field-level seats.This is sort of an aside but still symptomatic. Johnson's riff on Espinosa in Syracuse reported in WaPo: sounds to me that "stubborn" is the new synonym for "stupid." (As if one was better than the other.)

  36. NatsLady - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    m–very good question. And I'm not sure of the answer. Expectations were way high, of course. Now that actual team is on the field–however temporarily (because who knows about the next injury)–we shall see.

  37. Raphael Talisman - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    A split would be nice. I also think dspan is a bette hitter then people think. He has been on a hot streak. There were plenty of chances last night. Worth:SO, Zimm:SO, Harper? Who knows. If the team is looking to the young Harp for leadership that says it all. "Eat Face" does not really light the fire I guess

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… This is sort of an aside but still symptomatic. Johnson's riff on Espinosa in Syracuse reported in WaPo: sounds to me that "stubborn" is the new synonym for "stupid." (As if one was better than the other.)July 04, 2013 9:40 AM Not sure you read my pre-game comment on this yesterday. This was from Davey's pre-game commenting on Espi who went 0-8 the day before and his BA dropped below .099 1/2 Mendoza.What sickened me was Davey talking in hindsight like he saw it all the time but Espinosa had options and the Nats waited much too long to do anything and I still contend the change was needed in 2012. Like Davey, I have thought it was mental and he also finally said it. "I think he’s got a misguided opinion that it’s okay if you hit .220 and hit 20 home runs."Glad he said it because I have been saying for 2 years it's not okay. Others were willing to accept it because he hit HRs and plays good defense, but I also think what made it worse is that if Davey felt that way why wasn't a veteran brought in to compete in Spring Training and why didn't the team go after a 2nd baseman last July?Espinosa's 1 for 15 in the playoffs was a difference in the post-season.

  39. karlkolchak - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Theophilus T. S. – Johnson's "riff" on Espinosa was inexplicable. He's not hurt? Really? Has Johnson SEEN the statistics on Danny at AAA? They would be bad for a pitcher at this point. If I really believed Danny's shoulder injury was not the problem, I'd be worried that he is undergoing the equivalent of what happened to pitchers Rick Ankiel and Steve Blass when they "forgot" how to throw strikes.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Raphael Talisman said… I also think dspan is a bette hitter then people think. When your 1-2-3 hitters collectively put up an 0-fer you are in trouble plus those 2 unearned runs.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Joe Seamhead - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I remain positive. Why? Let me tell you why.We have baseball in DC. We're not eliminated on July 4th.Look, I don't agree with a lot of Davey's moves either. I'm frustrated, too, but I rooted for the Senators, and I've gone to 25-30 games a year since the Nats came to town. This 2013 may not be meeting your expectations, but they are not awful. The teams we watched from 2006 through 2011 were really, truly awful. I cheered for them anyway. Around 2009 I started seeing that there was an organization being built starting at the lowest level in the instructional league, and going up to the higher levels of the minors. Friends thought I was crazy when I told them the Nats were going to be competitive by 2011. Now, I've been to a lot of very stirring moments in sporting events from baseball, to football, hockey, boxing, etc. But nothing beat one night from last year, and that was a night when we didn't win the game, but we won the NL East title. For me, and for a lot of other old curmudgeons around me, it was almost a spiritual experience. I saw folks in their 50's, 60's, 70's with tears in their eyes. Our families waited generations for that moment. I will remain thankful to Mike Rizzo not just for last year, but for having a long term plan to bring us a competitive team for years to come. We may, or may not win a playoff spot this year, but I will remain thankful that we have this team, and will continue to believe in them, and in the words of the great sage, "It ain't over till it's over." Sorry some of you don't share my optimism, but I still think we got this, and I will think so until when the math says we are eliminated.GYFNG!!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
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SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
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MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
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