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Game 92: Nats at Phillies

Jul 11, 2013, 7:46 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

They hit four homers and knocked out Cliff Lee last night, so the Nationals have to like their chances in tonight's series finale against Kyle Kendrick, right? Well, not necessarily. Though they've historically had success against the Phillies right-hander, they were thoroughly dominated by him only three weeks ago, held to one run and two hits on June 19.

The good news: Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals in his final tune-up before next week's All-Star Game. The right-hander has been brilliant all year, of course, though his last two starts haven't quite lived up to his usual lofty standards (seven runs, 14 hits in 11 1/3 innings).

I am not in Philadelphia for the series finale at Citizns Bank Park. Had to hoof it back to Bethesda for tonight's episode of The Baseball Show, which airs at 11 p.m. on CSN. Hope you'll tune-in, and hope you'll enjoy the conversation here as always…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (47-44)
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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539 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Small ball? With whom? What fast guys do we have that get on base? What guys do we have who can reliably lay down a bunt or hit behind the runner or get a sac fly when we need one?

  2. do1teach1 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Turned it off in the 6th. Tired of the hapless pattern, over and over. The distinguishing characteristic of this baseball team is futility.

  3. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    MNF – Jordan did pitch well enough… I know some like to talk about the magic number 4.70 or 5… Well, had we out up either of those #s, we would have won tonight….

  4. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Re: Choo. Because Rizzo overvalues defense and undervalues on base percentage. See, e.g., the current Nats lineup and his past infatuation with the execrable BJ Upton.Just think, the Nats could have Choo and still have Meyer.

  5. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    WODL…what about our big number 5-6 hitter, ALR.Get off the Span kick…You are sounding biased against one player

  6. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Ryan is having a great offensive season. All the numbers show that. His OPS+, his BA with RISP (and just his normal BA isn't too bad), his OBP. It's all good. I'd like to see him cut down on the strikeouts some, but he's still having a fine season offensively. His defense is concerning, but improving. If you think Ryan is the main issue with the team, you're free to think that, but you'd be wrong.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I don't think Davey trusts Harper in CF. July 11, 2013 10:04 PM Didn't matter, you insert Bernadina after Hairston Pinch-hits.

  8. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Just watched Joey Votto and Todd Frasier have terrible at-bats.

  9. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    "Just think, the Nats could have Choo and still have Meyer. "Uh no. Who exactly do you think the Nationals would have traded for Choo? Choo was not a free agent, he was a trade. The Indians got a decent amount for him too.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Ghost, yes, I thought of that. You would have to do that and take your chances if it goes to extra innings.

  11. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    NL – yeah, there were some terrible at bats tonight too…

  12. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    It is our strength, but if we are not going to score much we MUST give up less to improve our record.

  13. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    My mistake then on Choo.

  14. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    I'm really starting to wonder if Davey gets tired and loses focus at the end of games. He should have pinch-run for Ramos (didn't cost), stuff like that. He's usually so quick to platoon hitters.

  15. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    If Jordan's neck is bothering him – I hope he doesn't play in the AS game…

  16. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    MNF, the problem is the offense not pitching. It can't be much more clear than it is.

  17. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    The good news is we have the Fish tomorrow. I don't think there's anybody except the most negative of them all who thinks the team isn't CAPABLE of playing good ball. Maybe playing well against the Fish and then the ASB will help the team reset and play better after the break.We'll see.

  18. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    One thing that is baffling is the situational managing of the team… Last year, DJ would sub people here and there… It seems this year, he is a step behind or doesn't do it…Not sure if this is the loyalty or stubbornness… I also wonder if the whip lash Span suffered last night played apart in his defensive game tonight… He seemed a step off or so…

  19. paul brandt - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    watched Davey's presser on MASN:not one single question about why Span was leading off in the 8th given his crap game and facing a lefty…no, i am not surprised but why are they there??

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    NatsLady said… I'm really starting to wonder if Davey gets tired and loses focus at the end of games. He should have pinch-run for Ramos (didn't cost), stuff like that. He's usually so quick to platoon hitters.Davey couldn't make a mistake last year until he did in Game 5. This year it's happening all the time and this loyalty factor where you put certain players ahead of winning pisses me off.Espinosa and Henry should've been nixed last season. Span should be batting 7th or 8th and sitting more. I don't mind the Hairston pickup but the Nats really needed a slick hitting RH outfielder who can play decent defense and that isn't really Hairston.

  21. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    you can't…It's impossible to rely on your pitchers giving up 2 or less runs a game. It is not reasonable. In the dead ball era, yes.The average runs scored per team is over 4 runs/game. The ball parks are smaller, the ball is livelier, the players are stronger.Strasburg tried with an amazing 2.2 ERA and he's 5-6.

  22. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    I am at a huge disadvantage because I do not usually read ingame posts – I am going to go back and read a few but 403 posts are just a bit much.Seamhead – I am not trying to be snarky or smart or cruel – I am a season ticket holder since day one. I have waited over 60 years to see my hometown team in the World Series, have never voiced an opinion where I want anyone fired or cut but I honestly don't see this team in the playoffs this year. I will renew my season tickets next year and root just as hard. You have consistantly posted, "don't worry we have this" – I don't worry, but I also scheduled a vacation in Oct. It's ok – We were overrated by the national press and we are a fine group of players but we were definitely overrated. Rizzo does a better than ave. job and Davey has been a wonderful manager for years and years. I just feel this is not going to be one of those years where things turn around and I refuse to be held hostage here in DC by a baseball team. If I eat crow 3 months from now it will taste delicious but this team has not shown me the ability to perform at the level I had hoped. Very very sad.Go Nats!!

  23. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Point blank – we should have scored more… We had the opportunities… We should have done more to support Jordan, who did a good job tonight…

  24. Secret wasian man - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    minus Werth and Harper the middle of this lineup is sad. ZIMM and ALR are average at best. Ian only a little better. Suzuki stinks. Span stinks Rendon average. Wilson good.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    paul brandt said… watched Davey's presser on MASN:not one single question about why Span was leading off in the 8th given his crap game and facing a lefty…no, i am not surprised but why are they there??Of course not. Have they ever asked anything negative unless all of them do it at once like the Espinosa articles that coincidentally came out at the same time?In NYC they would've skewered Davey tonight.

  26. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    I know the hitting is the problem, i have said that for 92 games.However we are also being outpitched.Had Jordan pitched a shut out we win. He gave up 2 runs kendricks gives up 1. We eere outpitchedBut I agree hitting is the problem. Johnson and Eckstein are not demanding their players to be more consistant. Our hitters generalky make the same mistakes all too often Trying tp kill each pitch.

  27. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Davey has always made situational mistakes like this Ghost. They just weren't as obvious last year. I can think of a real whopper though. Do you remember that game in which the Nats lost to the Yankees at home after Tyler Moore was called out at home in something like the bottom of the 8th? The replays showed he was actually safe. But the point is that he was at 2b before the hit that sent him to home and Davey failed to pinch run with Bernadina, who would have been safe by a mile. It was a crazy decision because Bernie was coming in to play defense for Moore in the inning anyways.He has always been a mediocre game manager.

  28. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Braves win, but thankfully they were playing the Reds. So we don't lose any games in the WC standings.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Mrs. B, look at our posts at 10:13 and 10:14. Very similar points including "loyalty".

  30. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Wait… Ghost – do you owe me a drink???? *snickers*MNF – you can't expect our pitchers to pitch shut outs all the time… Again, people like that 4.70/5 number… We score those runs, and we win this game…

  31. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Ryan's OPS+ is well above average. Calling Rendon average is a complete joke. I understand the frustration, but come on.

  32. paul brandt - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Ghost, I know, am just venting…I want to eat Davey's face!!!…we are a jekyl & hyde team this year, don't want to admit it but its true.sjm308, nice post at 1015pm.

  33. Secret wasian man - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    SJM308. WONDERFULLY said.

  34. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    yes…it's like your on a job…and one guy does his job but the other guys don't so instead of looking at the guys who aren't doing it, you ask the one guy who is, to do even more.We have the worst offensive stats in the league. you have to score more than 1 and 2 runs a game to win consistently Name a staff that has an ERA 2 or under.I would say we are being outhit.

  35. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Hahahaha…. Ghost – 2 we made similar posts a minute or so apart…I used to harp on DJ last year when we were winning last year – his loyalty…I've no problem with Span leading off… I think he is in a slump right now myself… Also this is his first year in the NL, so I know it takes time to recognize pitchers, etc… But DJ does have a loyalty issue… We saw it last year… We saw it this year with Espi too…That has always been a big knock on him…

  36. nats guy - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    This is the most disappointed I have ever been in a baseball team. Too, too, too bad. I don't even know what to say about them anymore. Sometimes they play like they have never seen the game before and don't know the rules. Too many bonehead plays that have happened all year long. I looked forward to this season since November 1st.I think now is the time to look at some changes to prepare for next year.1. Let Taylor Jordan stay here until he reaches his innings limit.2. Bring up Nathan Karns after that.3. Ditch Haren, he no longer matters. Write it off as a mistake.4. Se what minor moves thay can make before July 31st to improve for next year.5. See what they can get for Drew Storen, and Danny Espinosa either in July or over the off season6. Start training the pitchers on how to hold runners. This has really been awful for a very long time.7. What is wrong with the base running. Too many bone head moves.8. Are McCatty and Eckstein the right coaches.9. Internal or external for Dave Johnson?

  37. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    MrsB, I don't know if it's whiplash or just exhaustion, but Span did not look like himself out there tonight, from the part of the game that I saw (was working). Who would have guessed that the one pitcher we get to in the series is Cliff Lee?

  38. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    I'm sorry, but you don't sell or give up on a season when you're 4 games back of a playoff spot on July 11. We're 4 games back of the WC spot.

  39. Secret wasian man - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    yes Rendon is better than average. Sorry. But I also failed to mention how iresponsible it is to have BADCHAD TRACY still on the team. OH and DAVEY STINKS TOO.

  40. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Yeah NL – he looked 'off' or lost in the Of today… And I know he had the issues with the concussions… I actually didnt think he would play today becuz he grimaced afterwards, last night…Not making excuses but we've seen other injuries and how they play out as well as phantom injuries and the whole 9…

  41. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Dont need a shutout all the time. Just needed one tonight.Last night we could up 4, just gave up 1. One tnight and we are still playing.You are missing my poit, maybe I am not writing it well.You win one of two ways. Score more than. The other team, or allow them to score less. We have problem with the second. Most our wins we score alot and give up some. In low scoring games we have won almost none, because we are out pitched.

  42. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    I disagree. I think we are outhit.

  43. SCNatsFan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Sjm I agree; that you, like I, don't see this as a playoff team doesn't make you less of a fan, it makes you a realist. Sure I hope the team turns it around but I've been hoping that for years and, well, you see how much hoping does. I'll still fly up and see a series next month and root just as hard, the only good thing I tickets will be easier to get then I thought they would at the start of the season.

  44. Drew - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Now for some good news:Robbie Ray tossed a 9- inning shutout for Harrisburg, with 11 strikeouts and two walks. He's off to a dandy start at AA.At Syracuse, in addition to Espinosa's homer (he's up to .210) Tyler Moore hit a grand slam.

  45. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Don't be so sure SCNatsFan. The Nats are still drawing just fine.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Luckily we have great pitchers to watch and Harper and Rendon.

  47. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    I'm certainly not giving up. No way–look at the run the Jays went on or now, the Rays… Just have to hang around .500 and then put together a streak and this team CAN do it. I feel we will be playing meaningful ballgames in August and September. May not make it, but I don't see this team giving up at the "half-way" point.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Drew, thanks for the good news!

  49. pedrocerrano - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Games that sucked major butthole:Blowing a 4 run lead at home against ATL in first meetingJ-zim blowing 4 run lead in Baltimore after R zim hits 3 jacks.Strasburg getting boned by his teammates in a shutout loss to WILY PERALTA immediately after we "turned the corner" with 23 runs in prev. 2 gamesStrasburg getting boned by his teammates in extra innings loss to Diamondbacks where we lost on a FREAKING SQUEEZE BUNT when we had chance to sweep.Jzim losing to dillon gee 2-0 in the 3rd game against NYM when Werth GIDP'd on a 3-0 count with 2 on and no outs. (I will take this moment to mention that Dillon Gee is 3-0 against us with 2ER in 18 innings. His ERA is 5.33 against all other teams)The catastophe at home against Chicago where we lost a 2-1 game on a throw into left field from Zuk resulting in dropping a home series to THE CUBS (honorable mention for the previous game for getting shutdown by the winless Edwin Jackson)Getting walked-off by BJ Upton in Atlanta after having runners on 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs in the top of the 9th and failing to score.I can't really remember any of the Cardinals games but I'm pretty sure they all sucked major butt.What would you guys say was the worst one? I have to say the first one against Atlanta was the worst….although losing to the cubs was unforgivable and that Jzim meltdown was a deflating knockout.

  50. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Nats Guy – I agree re Jordan… Disagree re Karns (don't think he is ready). As for Haren – we have got to hope that the Haren we see is the Haren that played against Atl, Bmore and in the 2nd thru 5th inning 2 days ago… And lets thank our lucky stars that we only have him for 1 year…I get your point MNf… I just don't agree tonight… Jordan pitched well enough… We should have scored more runs against Kendrick…

  51. Secret wasian man - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    out hit or out pitched. Whats it matter? either way they manage to lose. Phils made 4 errors tonight and still won. I really think the team lacks leadership. Davey is killing this team. He has been nothing short of terrible. It all started with that stupid world series or bust comment.

  52. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Giving up… In July… Nah… I'll leave that for others…I will give up when it isn't mathematically possible anymore…

  53. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    4 games out of the playoff with 70 to go. I still like our chances.We have to play better coming out of the break though. We have to view it as a reset. Just pretend it's opening day. We'll be fully healthy (knock on wood). If we play well after the ASB, we still got it. If we don't…well, we don't.

  54. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Thanks Pedro…. You just made me sick re-living some of those moments…I was the sickest when BJ Upton got the single RBI against HRod…. That. Was. The. Worst.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    pedrocerrano, can't disagree. I thought tonight would be a huge Nats win. I'm just shocked but the 1st inning bad call at home changed the entire game on that one play. Instead of 1-0 lead, and the Phoolies still pitching with Werth on 2nd, it's inning over.You can't tell how big that 1 play was on the outcome.

  56. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    The key thing is, as it has always been, health. The line-up is healthy, pretty much, although I suspect, tired. They will get a break and I hope they use it wisely, because every other team is getting the same break.Rizzo must must MUST have a contingency plan for Detwiler being on-and-off the DL and Haren being (at best) mediocre). Get another starting pitcher. Fork over the $$ for someone you can get without completely mortgaging the future.

  57. Secret wasian man - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    pedro hahahahaha definitely the BMORE game. I was there. It was the first really warm day of the year. JZIMM being from Wisconsin was gassed from the heat. everyone could see it except Davey. So he leaves him in and then the Os precede to score like 57 runs. HAHAHA

  58. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    another way to look at it.The sanitation men are picking up the garbage and keeping the city clean.but the city is burning because the firemen are not doing their job, so instead of demanding accountablity of them, you ask the garbage man to pick up more trash.our pitching stats are amongst the best…our hitting amongst the worst. how about asking the offense to score at least near the league average and carry some of the weight.

  59. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    That 1st inning play definitely gave the, confidence… I'm actually surprised we didnt get Kendrick out the game earlier… We should have been playing small ball 4 thru 6 inning as his pitch count was getting up… We needed to be making contact, shortening the swing, etc… Instead of swinging from the ankles…Sigh… I wanted to go 7-3 the 10 games before the AS break… We have gone 4-3… Hoping we can get the broom going agains the fish…

  60. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    David – don't get me wrong – I will be thrilled if we turn it around – I just don't see that happening, and I am certainly not going to stay in DC when I have a chance to travel. I would be more upset if I was here and the Braves were playing the Reds then if I am in New England and the Nationals are playing. I will say this. If I had to face the Nationals in a one game playoff I would not be happy. If I had to face them in a seven game playoff with our big 3 going in 6 of those games, I would not be happy. The problem is, I just don't see us making up 4 games against the Reds or 6 games against the Braves.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    NatsLady said… Rizzo must must MUST have a contingency plan for Detwiler being on-and-off the DL and Haren being (at best) mediocre). Get another starting pitcher. Fork over the $$ for someone you can get without completely mortgaging the future. Need to keep TJord here and hope Detwiler can get healthy.I think you can't trade prospects unless you get a long-term player but it looks to me like the rotation is set for next year:Stras-Gio-JZim-Det-TJord

  62. Section 135 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Davey wanted Laroche over Morse. He Pleaded for him.

  63. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    That is ridiculous to say that the Nats couldn't have acquired Choo. They didn't try. Rizzo has wanted Span for years and that is the problem–you can't get wedded to one player or some image of what you think a lead-off hitter or a good team should look like.Billy Beane understands this. What sexy players does he have? We all know instinctively that fielding is less important than hitting. How? Because they are tons of guys in baseball at all levels who can field the outfield and field it well. This is not relatively rare. Speed is another thing that is not that rare, unless you are talking Jose Reyes speed. Hitting is the hardest part of baseball and this team needs hitters. Enough of this pitty-pat stuff.

  64. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Wasian you told us you were done with the team and would come back to september 30.But here yu are after a loss right back.Didn't see last niggt after a win.

  65. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    And Laroche has been far better than Morse so what is your point?

  66. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    I'm not arguing with you about Span again, WODL. This argument is so tired. Span was a .283 hitter prior to this year. Nobody could've foreseen him hitting .250 with a .310 OBP. If you say you saw that happening, you're lying. If he even performs as well as he did last year (thus throwing out his extremely good year a few years back), he'd still be a fine player for us.Section 135, LaRoche has outperformed Morse. Just so you know.

  67. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    well, we won more games than any other team last year with Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler.Haren pitched well enuf last time out…Ross is more of a question…only time will tell if he is the pre DL 2.56 ERA Ross or post DL one.I wouldn't mortgage the future, however, to pick up a rent a pitcher for two months. It's more than money…they'll want prospects. If the offense was better, maybe. Rizzo tried to improve both the back of the rotation and the offense this off season but didn't get it down. A crap shoot. He'll have other chances.

  68. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Ghost, agree that no important prospects should be traded for pitching unless its a long term acquisition. Maybe not even then. I am concerned about the offense on this team going forward beyond this year. The line up isn't good enough. And it might get worse because (1) Werth is getting older and (2) you are probably going to end up trading Laroche's production for some new 2B's production when Zim moves to 1B and Rendon to 3B. It's unlikely that 2B will get you the 20-20 HRs that Laroche has been giving you.So how do you improve this line up? The only ways I can see are by acquiring either a big time 2B (like Cano) or 3B (and have Rendon stay at 2B. They also need to acquire a 4th out fielder that is a quality bat–essentially good enough to start.These things are going to cost real money. I guess the good news is that if you trade Laroche this off season(or before) and you don't replace Haren's contract (sticking in house with Jordan or Karns) you have freed up real money.

  69. Drew - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    One more bit of good news:Billy Burns stole three more bases at Potomac. He has 45 stolen bases in 74 games.The Mercer Kid might have no pop, but he seems fearless. I hope he can keep it up when he gets to tougher competition in AA.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Mike Matheny just went postal on the homeplate ump after the Cards just lost 3-0. EJax with a 3 hitter. It figures. Couldn't do that in Game 3

  71. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    First of all, Minnesota seemed to be aware of Span's offense. Second, at this point, Proctor, it is irrelevant what anyone might have thought or not–move him the hell down in the order and get it the hell out of the line up against lefties–problems solved–and you can spend your time defending something worthwhile like baby seals or something.

  72. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Idk TextNat – at this point, I just can't see us moving RZimm to first…. I think he and Rendon are now our 3rd and 2nd basemen, respectively…I am concerned about the 1st baseman position for after LaRoche leaves… He makes some awesome and asz saving plays for us with some of the poor/off balance throws from our IF…

  73. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Minnesota didn't want Span (or Revere for that matter, who is younger and under team control for longer) because they got solid prospects in return. You saying "Minnesota didn't want him" or "Minnesota was getting rid of him" is just not true no matter how many times you repeat it. It had nothing to do with Span's play, it had everything to do with a rebuilding organization acquiring pitching prospects which they desperately needed.

  74. paul brandt - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    sjm at 1046…where are you going in October? have spent some time in Hyannisport and man, it doesn't get much better than that…wow, what an incredible area that is.

  75. pedrocerrano - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    I was in the left field bleachers for game 3.K#$%@ hit that one 3-run homer in those bleachers in game 3.Chris Carpenter hit a double off that wall in game 3.Please don't talk about game 3. (Or that other game).

  76. TexNat - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Mrs B. I think Zim is your First Baseman of the Future. He has lost his ability to throw the ball. He hasn't been improving at that over the past few weeks so much as he has learned to cope with it. He lollipops any throw he can't submarine and looks uncomfortable as hell. Either way, they are going to need to open the check book (or depart with serious prospects) to acquire another big time infield bat, be it a 1B, 2B, or 3B. This has to be the priority for the club this off season. And they should not do anything now that would compromise their ability to address that priority.

  77. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    We need Ramos at a minimum hitting 2 of 3 games.Span against lefties needs to bat 8th .Why Span hit at home and not away?Someone needs raise hell, as the players tgemselves in general are not raising tgeir own hell.

  78. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    agree…Ramos is a very important part of the offense and move Span down

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    TexNat/MrsB, doubtful Rizzo gets Cano but moving RZim to 1st has to be a priority but doubtful Rizzo does it until 2015.

  80. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    Boswell said himself that we might only get the Span of 2010 and 2011 so I certainly had very, very low expectations from the beginning. This meant batting average above .250 and on base percentage of .330, with a handful of homers, due to his failure to get walks or singles this year and due to his losing all his home run power, we aren't getting performance even close to his worst season in Minnesota.I never expected much, but this is destroying a poor hitting team. You can't waste all these at bats with a guy with no power who doesn't score runs and all those arguments from the past about different umpires and different leagues don't wash anymore. Span has always play inter-league. He simply isn't the hitter he used to be, otherwise where did all his power go?

  81. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    I just can not see Ryan at 1st…. But we will see… But I do agree that the check book will have to open for another IF person, regardless of the position….

  82. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Go read some of the Twins fanboards and see what they thought about Mr. Span. They undressed us for a good prospect, who unfortunately for them, is injured. If you think Span displays good hitting skills, then please point them out to me, because I simply cannot perceive anything he does offensively that is in any way, shape, manner or form better than a replacement center fielder. 9 stolen bases is laughable. He isn't beating out run of the mill grounders the way Reyes does.He simply has to get down a proper bunt tonight in a crucial situation. Many guys like him would beat it out and get a twofer. Denard couldn't do that and then sort of didn't feel like running at first while he played umpire…. Just the way I want my son to approach the game….

  83. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    As a team we are batting .020 under last year. I could 100% wrong, and I would hope I am, but I believe most of us get upset at bad hitting games more than any of the players do.I realize they are professionals, but every loss is one you can never get back, so unless you are in first, you should be angry.

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

    Even with games like this, the Nats are a very good team. Time to move Werth to leadoff.1. Werth RH RF2. Rendon RH 2B3. Harper LH LF4. RZim RH 3B5. ALR LH 1B6. Desi RH SS7. Ramos RH C8. Span LH CF

  85. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    I think it is legitimate to get upset with a player's approach at the plate, but not to get upset if a player simply has a bad game. Does a player consistently swing at pitches out of the zone? Does he swing when it doesn't make sense given the count? Does he do the little things either to get on base or advance the runner?

  86. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    I don't want Werth at leadoff. He's hitting too well and driving in too many runs right now (and should've had another RBI today).

  87. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    Moving Span to 7th or 8th seems like a no-brainer, but saying so here, qualifies you as a genius of the board, Ghost, but apparently Davey and Rizzo are going down with the ship…. Or are they? Is it possible that Span was given an ultimatum by Rizzo to either start producing before the break or start platooning given the new right handed bat?

  88. paul brandt - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    really kind of funny how the tone/anger/content of these posts take after a loss and also after a win…the life of a fan…I am also guilty of it and still here after saying good night an hour ago…still love being a fan and finally having a team to root for & bit$% about.NI is an awesome place to talk & vent…love DP's optimism, I will share it until Mark tells me it's over.it's just a game people! pay it forward and do something nice for someone tomorrow…just loving that I can see my home team play, we did not have that ability not too long ago.p.s. thanks sjm you inspired me…go Nats!! sweep the fish and all is well.

  89. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    David, and he will hit fine at leadoff just like last year. It's time to shake it up.

  90. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Disagree Ghost… Think the line up makes sense as is, for the most part.. Definitely am not moving Werth up.. Think he is better in the 6th spot… Also, if Ramos likes 8th, leave him there.. Wouldn't be quick to move him as well…

  91. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Yeah he hit well at leadoff last year, but I want one of our most reliable bats in the middle of the lineup right now. Platoon Hairston and Span if you want, maybe move Rendon up to 2 and Desi to 7. But keep Werth where he's red hot. He's hitting better (and with more power) than he's ever hit as a National right now.

  92. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    I think that anyone who thinks that is mistaken. People are angry when management fails to engage in what seems to be commonsense.And for all those who gripe about people complaining, that is lunacy. The people who complain are the people who pay the bills. They are the people who actually watch the MLB Network's goofy specials and listen to the radio broadcasts and television broadcasts at the same time. It is actually the lukewarm people who hurt the sport. The day that people quit criticizing the players and the managers is the day that MLB becomes the WNBA.

  93. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Our approach generakly is poor. Our approach works well against pitchers like Cliff Lee.We need to drive thc ball the direction is putch. We pull way too many. Span could raise his average .030-.050 simply by doing this. He pulls way too many, when the ball often oncthe outer or middle part. It is not rocket science. Look at what good hitters do.Long balls will come going with tge pitch too. Watch Miguel cabrerra or Chris Davis just as many homers the other way as pulled.Our approach was simlar last year I complained then to. Just hit it where it is pitched the average will rise fast.With more base runners usually more runs.

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    I think Desi in the #2 changes what Desi does and Span leading off is just too low of an OBP.Need men on for Harp which was the winning formula for last year.If you all like the status quo, you will get your wish as Davey ain't changing.

  95. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    David, I can live with your suggestion better than doing nothing.

  96. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    PaulBrandt – fought and fought with spousal equivalent about a trip in oct. She won – now it looks like it will be ok – base is Boston but we plan several day trips outside the city. Not sure but the Adams Museum looks great and we can use the MTA (I have promised to sing the Kingston Trio song the entire way). Give me some reasons to rent a car.OK, back to baseball – I would definitely think about Span now moving to the #8 spot. I would pitch Jordan until he reaches his limit. I would not make a trade unless it was totally in our favor. I like our young pitchers in AA and A and do not want to give them up. I would consider Espinosa a huge chip but doubt if other teams see that. I am OK with Zimm at 3rd for next year with Rendon staying at 2nd and LaRoche at first. I honestly guess that means I am really not in the market right now since I actually like our team. I do not like how Span is playing on offense but I think that could turn around. Zimm has definitely improved, as has Rendon and Desmond and LaRoche are two of the best at their position.All we need to do is start hitting so that I will be carrying my ipad around in New England rooting for us. Wouldn't it be amazing if we are playing Boston in the World Series and I can snag tickets???

  97. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    I like the lineup the way it is right now, but I'd switch Desi and Rendon. I like Rendon's approach higher in the order and Desi's power lower. I don't like how people keep walking Desi to get to Harper either.The way the lineup is ordered isn't the problem. In fact, I'm pretty sure studies have shown that lineup order is basically irrelevant to the success of a team. It's just something us fans get up into arms about. The bottom line is people need to perform, no matter where they're hitting.

  98. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    The easiest rule of thumb is simply to bat your players in the order of their on base percentage. There are some other models but they are probably not worth obsessing about. Having a poor on base percentage leading off can cost a couple of games a year based upon the extra at bats. Beyond that, it is a bit like ordering your pitchers. Guys who aren't productive belong at the bottom in order to give them incentive to work harder and do better.

  99. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    i would switch rendon to leadoff and werth to 2nddesmond is not an ideal number 2….not patient enough

  100. paul brandt - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    WODL, today is 7-11 and just happens to be my wife's birthday…please get in your car and drive to the closest 7-11 to your abode, its free slurpee day, you need a dose of optimism and its free!

  101. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Desi is *too* aggressive as a 2… I can see the switch for Rendon and Desi… I can also see the platoon for Hairston(who I don't think is really the answer) for Span but I think that hurts us defensively as I'm not sure I care for this 'new' Harper in CF…

  102. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    do i get anything for putting up the 500th post ?

  103. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    David – you'll like people walking Desi to get to Harp when he makes them pay, to which he hasn't done that lately….

  104. jeffwx - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    yes, and this year the cups are 12 oz

  105. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    I think way too much is being made of this "new" Harper. He looks fine to me. He's been hitting, he JUST missed a home run today, he has 3 stolen bases in the last couple games. I'm glad he isn't running into walls, but he's still playing just fine.

  106. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Lineup? I love how Werth handles things deeper in the lineup – makes you understand what a team player he is as he never complained last year.Who leads off? To me, even though I have no numbers, it has to be Rendon. He is young and will probably embrace any spot. He gets on base, has decent speed and has to be better than what Span has produced. I bat Harper 2nd. He hit there last year and produced well. I follow him with Zimm and LaRoche although I can bat Werth 4th against tough lefties. Desmond hits 6th, Ramos 7th and Span 8th.

  107. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    When the hitters decide to get serious and hit we got the division won.If they decide to not hit like to often this year, wewill have a hard time.If it was to me they would hit. Unfortunately it is up to them and as a group they have been less than interested.

  108. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    I mean…MNF, do you think they're just choosing to not hit? Like they don't want to? I guarantee you the players are way more frustrated than any of us. Guarantee it.

  109. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    David – who is more frustrated? Davey, the players or Rizzo?

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    sjm, moving Rendon to leadoff could ruin him. Probably not worth it. We know he can bat 2nd and 7th.Span had been fine vs. RHPs so the problem is twice a week when you face the LHPs.

  111. nats guy - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    David,Where can I get a pair of those Rose colored glasses. You must have had a bottle of the Nats not so kool aid tonight. On second thought maybe they are drinking too much of it.

  112. sjm308 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    I think you are correct Ghost but on the days we face Lefties, who is your choice? I just can't be Span (if he is even in the lineup).

  113. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    MrsB loves the Nats said… I can also see the platoon for Hairston(who I don't think is really the answer) for Span but I think that hurts us defensivelyI agree with you. I have been saying for over a month that the Nats need a RH OF who can play defense. While Hairston was an upgrade over TyMo, it wasn't a sizeable upgrade but I guess you give it time.

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    sjm, best choice is Hairston like they did on Tuesday.

  115. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    I don't have rose color glasses. I realize the team isn't putting up runs. But I'm not the only one who thinks the team is still very much alive. 4-6 games out with 70 to play is nothing. We have to play better. Most national analysts still think we can. All the MLBN people think we can.

  116. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Part of the stuff with Span is what happens to a lot of guys who are talented and look better out there than their production. He simply looks like he has the tools to be doing far better than he is offensively. Maybe it is a huge slump. I am torn between hoping for improvement and being ready to move on to a platooning scheme, but he appears to have the skill level to be doing far more of the little things to help this team win.I don't care if his average is low. I do want him to stand in there and if he gets hit by the pitch, then take the base. I do want him to take the extra base. We need him walking much, much more. He only has 26 bases on balls. I want to see him go with the pitch and try for singles. If he could reach his lifetime average of four homers or so, a year, that would be nice, but we have all written that off. He almost hit one this year but it was foul and that was it.

  117. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    When I see the approach, Something is not right. Swininging at. Ball on a 2-0 count when we need a runner.Not bunting a man to third instead getting him out.Not shoting the swing on a 2 strike count.Trying to pull everything.These are just a few things that are easy fixed if the environment was cobdusive to being fixed.No way they are more frustrated than me. I broke my little squeezy anger ball. If they were they were tgey would fix it.Last year they started this way and started going with ball better, so far this year only a few drive the ball where it is pitched. Once they do that then I will say I am less frustrated.

  118. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    Welp, there's a video going around of Jayson Werth getting angry at the media. The Philly media is salivating over it.

  119. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    508 comments? Wow. Here is an article about Nats' spring training facility relocation possibility.Spring traininghttp://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/sports/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/7/11/washington_nationals.html

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    WODL, Span gets into 3-1 and 3-2 counts and can't work the walks like he should. Again, his splits vs. RHPs is fine. Just hope some rest over the ASB does him well.The LHP splits are bad. Can't wait around for things to change as that is Espinosaitis Henroditis. Davey is supposed to be a math guy and baseball guy, it doesn't take a genius to see it.

  121. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    WODL, we traded for Denard Span, not Jimmy Wynn. Expecting him to hit home runs is totally unrealistic. I agree he should work counts more and take more walks, but let's cool the talk about him hitting home runs. Get real.

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Here's that Werth videohttp://www.crossingbroad.com/2013/07/jayson-werth-has-csn-mic-shoved-in-face-cries-about-it-walks-away.html

  123. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    Even that headline is hilarious. I saw a tweet from the CSN reporter that said "WAIT TIL YOU SEE THIS VIDEO, IT'S GOING TO MAKE YOU HATE JAYSON WERTH EVEN MORE!!" It's like they're the paparazzi. Very unprofessional. Could you imagine Mark doing something like that?

  124. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Span hit 8 homers one year and hit several in other years although he has rarely made it through a full season. 4 homers is not unrealistic in terms of what we might have expected, although it clearly is now. But his low opb is made even worse due to his lack of ultimate power. His doubles and triples have done a lot to hide his issues but those are likely to come down as they exceed his career norms. The likelihood is that it is not getting better.

  125. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    A few of his doubles would have been home runs at any other park. I distinctly remember 2 home runs off the big scoreboard in right field at Nats Park. So perhaps that's why his doubles are up and his homers are down?

  126. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Rendon would not make a good leadoff. He isn't fast and he doesn't steal. I would agree with him hitting 2nd and moving Desi down. Other than that, I wouldn't mess with the line-up, I would just wait out Span's slump. He wasn't slumping until this week, bear in mind that he had this April – .276/.349/.316 and thisMay – .275/.313/.422Although the OBP for May isn't great.My own feeling is that several factors are affecting Span's offense.(1) A different ("more aggressive") approach and swing, suggested by Davey/Eckstein that is not comfortable;(2) Heat and fatigue. Seriously. I have family in Fargo and Minneapolis. Yes, it is hot in Texas and KC. But you don't have the grinding, day after day heat/humidity in the upper Midwest that you have here. We have seen that affects JZimm and Stras–why wouldn't it affect Span, who is accustomed to playing half his games in Minnesota where they sell pansies in May? Really, they do. My jaw dropped when I was at the garden center when I saw pansies on Memorial Day Weekend. I said, "How can you sell those now, three 90-degree days in June they will be gone." The saleslady said, "we won't have three 90-degree days in June." And she was right. They might have three 90-degree days in an entire summer.

  127. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Denard Span doesn't get on base and he doesn't steal. The canard about speed being necessary for a lead-off batter is truly dispiriting. It sounds like something someone might have said back in 1985.

  128. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    Well, it ain't getting any cooler in the Mid-Atlantic region, but it seems to me to be silly to argue that Mr. Span is not used to the heat. Talk about pulling something out of thin air.

  129. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    Good for Jayson! He’s hitting like .297 (.327/.412/.541 over the last 30 days, not counting 2 for 4 tonight.) What is he supposed to say, my teammates are letting me down? He would never say that. He will be the Nats manager one of these days, I sincerely hope.

  130. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    When a player who has a good track record isn't performing some people say "he sucks," or "Rizzo never should have traded for him." Other people try to diagnose what might be the problem.

  131. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Yeah, I don't have a problem with Jayson being angry. Maybe it'll show those who think the guys don't care or something that it's hard on them. (Of course, Werth has been easily our most productive player over the last month or so).

  132. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:30 AM

    If you diagnose what might be the problem, you are part of the way to the solution. For example, if Span is fatigued (or maybe even slightly injured) then tinkering with his swing is not likely to be productive. You might want to rest him, or adjust his training regimen, or encourage him to take an IV before games.OTOH, if Span is in excellent health and feisty, then you wonder whether he his comforable with the tinkering to his swing.If neither of those is the root of the problem, you ask if there is a personal issue troubling him, and address that.If none of the above, then you just accept that slumps are mysterious and you have to wait them out.

  133. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    NL,People on here often confuse explanations with excuses. Anytime someone tries to explain something, you are accused of making excuses. There are no excuses for Span's poor offense, but we need to be able to explain it in order to fix it. "He just sucks" isn't a logical explanation given how low he is from his career norms. SOMETHING is off.

  134. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    Or it might be that he had one good season five years ago and has been on a slow and inexorable downward trend…. That certainly seems every bit as likely as blaming it on the lack of decent flower growing weather in the D.C. area…. Maybe it is the water? Don't they have lead in the pipes in D.C.?

  135. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    Last season, Denard Span had a 104 OPS+. The years before that, 90 and 88. The years before that, 115 and 122. So he's had an OPS+ of over 100 in 3 of his 5 years in the league, including last year. This year, he's at 84…the lowest of his entire career.Last season, he hit .283 with .342 OBP. This season he's hitting .256 with a .310 OBP. There is something wrong there, WODL. For as much as I get accused of wearing rose color glasses, everyone else here seems to have an agenda as well. Your narrative is wrong. Stop using it.

  136. NatsLady - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    DP–you and I are on the same wavelength. In regard to Espinosa, I always look for the simplest explanation–is it physical? Has his wrist healed? His shoulder? Did he get contact lenses? Did the hitting instructor at Syracuse succeed (finally) in reconstructing Danny's approach?A lot of people go for the "it's mental," or "Davey sent a message and it was received." That could be the case, becuase of course there is a mental aspect to the game. But if Danny was capable all along of hitting, why did he need to be sent to Purgatory (aka, Syracuse) to re-discover that capability? It's possible that he was cruising along, figuring he was indispensable, that Rendon wasn't ready, and that since he was a defensive wizard who had a lock on his major-league job. But I have my doubts. Why would a player of reasonable intelligence and talent "dog it" at the plate? No, I rather suspect there was either a physical issue (wrist, shoulder, eyesight) or a mechanical issue. And if that is "solved" we may not need to spend big $$ this winter, we may already have the solution at hand.

  137. pedrocerrano - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    It doesn't matter if it's because "he sucks" or "something is wrong"….. the only relevant undeniable fact is that he's gonna hit 4 ground balls to the second basemen if you play him tomorrow, SO DON'T PLAY HIM

  138. pedrocerrano - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    I actually like the idea of Ramos and Zuk rotating every day. Maybe 60/40 in favor of Ramos. I think it keeps them both fresh and I love the way zuk plays; there was a period early in the year (when LaRoche was in the tank) when he was the only one in the lineup taking professional at-bats.Also, Ramos is hot right now, but overall I think the offensive gap between zuk and ramos is not that large, Ramos just has more power.BUT, I think Davey really needs to consider Ramos in PH opportunities, like the one he should have taken tonight and the one he took on Tuesday (that resulted in an RBI double).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 56 --
ATLANTA 68 64 7.5
MIAMI 65 66 10.0
NEW YORK 62 70 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 60 72 15.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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