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Game 96: Dodgers at Nats

Jul 19, 2013, 7:21 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

It's been a long four days without baseball, but at last the Nationals are back on the field tonight, determined to open the second half of their season on a positive note. The challenge right out of the blocks isn't easy: the Dodgers have MLB's best record since June 22 at 17-5, and they send Ricky Nolasco (career 11-7, 3.66 ERA vs. the Nats) to the mound for the opener.

Stephen Strasburg gets the start for the Nationals, coming off the worst start of his career and also dealing with some oppressive heat and humidity tonight. As I type this, the heat index in Washington stands at 110, with the dew point an insane 78. We've seen Strasburg struggle with heat in the past; it'll be interesting to see how he deals with this tonight.

If you've got tickets to the game, please be prepared yourself for the conditions and plan to drink lots of water. If you're staying home to watch in the comfort of central air conditioning, you're in luck. I'll be sweating it out here and will have updates and analysis throughout…

LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 184
Weather: Humid, 92 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (48-47)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper

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280 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Swinging bunt. Span is better at that than actual bunts.

  2. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    FWIW, I like Carp and FP or maybe I am just used to them but do prefer Charlie & Dave on the radio…would not be surprised to see FP move on to bigger and better things when his contract allows…do think he has some excellent insight.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Rendon needs to drop one in the gap here.

  4. BigCat - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Wasn't it Honeycutt who was caught scuffing the bdll?

  5. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Anthony doing his Chad Tracy impression tonight.

  6. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Wow….

  7. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Actually rumor mill has Jaegler moving up to the national stage soon.

  8. BigCat - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Puig is a stud no doubt. But let's just wait n see till he goes around the league again

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    FP really ticked me off last Saturday on the national FOX broadcast. He was quite neutral as you need to be on a national broadcast then he had a chance on that 6th inning K of Harper and didn't say a word about the ump blowing it. That was disappointing. I don't think anyone would have criticized him for telling it the way it was.

  10. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Tyler Clippard has been so great this year.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    K-lip does a great job again!

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Isn't Paco Rodriguez a cologne?

  13. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Puig reminds me of Bo Jackson…body type, speed, strength, arm, etc…know its too early but man, just watching him in tonight's highlights reminded me of Bo even the way he was walking.

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    RISP 1 FOR 9Span 0-0Rendon 0-1Zim 0-0Harper 0-0Werth 0-1Desmond. 1-2Tracy 0-3Ramos 0-29 hole 0-0

  15. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Bad ab by Bryce.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Corey Brown hit 2 HRs. Hmmmmmm

  17. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    That was a horrible at bat by Bryce… Swung at 2 balls…

  18. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Pbrandt,Let me see him go 70 yards off tackle, untouched, and I"ll let you know.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Mattingly managing like Game 6 and Davey doesn't pull Span for Hairston. I thought Davey was a numbers guy?

  20. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    yup, MNF.along with the classic bases loaded, no out and no runs scoreon the bright side, our RISP % will be better against Kershaw as we'll lkely have less chances.If you aint got a bench, you aint got nothin

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Puig out of the game????

  22. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Poor inning thought we would win it there. Too many stranded runners. Not good

  23. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    That breaking ball was hanging. Werth just got under it.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Mrs B according to the pitch track I follow all 3 pitches were balls. Why he swings at those sweeping pitches is be yond me. As he is never hit them with any authority. Just let hem go.That is what Eck should be coaching.

  25. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Knoxville, ok, fair enough, did not mean in a Raiders uniform and agree its a small sample size, point taken though.

  26. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    bring him up…all the players being DFA'd half of them are beter than our the Tracy/Bernadina thing

  27. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Bo Jackson has a Heisman Trophy too.

  28. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Idk MnF – it's hard for me with the whole Eck thing… Becuz I see both sides..On hand I saw screw it, fire him, things can't get any worse…. But on the other hand, I realize Eck isn't the one holding the bat…. How do we know, this stuff we say, they aren't working on (ie Span pulling his bat, situational hitting)

  29. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    yeah…their 4th outfielder is Ethier.see what a fair cable contract gets you. Maybe they should give 85% of it to the Angels

  30. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Davey is lost. A lot of losses this year lie at his feet. Really be glad when he is gone.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    BTW, Strasburg's night ended nicely. I loved those bashing him early. Hanley got a hold of one and credit to Hanley. Outside heat that was called outside and low and it was outside middle. Still, Hanley is en fuego so I can't blame Stras too much. He gave the Nats a chance to win.

  32. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    speaking of Ethier…what a bench…no Tracy there

  33. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Ouch. That wasn't a bad pitch.

  34. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Well that sucks.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Soriano is supposed to bounce the slider and doesn't. Bam………..

  36. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    I was just typing… Abad should have gone in… Terrible..

  37. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    That pitch was still way down. Not anywhere near the zone. But yeah, he probably meant to bounce it and didn't. Hurts.

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Soriano 2 of the last 3 games cant throw a pitch away and he gives up a homer.Do we lack that much focus?

  39. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    If nothing changes, nothing changesRe: Nats offense

  40. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    MrsB, agree why the heck is Soriano throwing to Ethier in that situation? makes no sense, would have even preferred Krol.

  41. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Having the bases loaded and nobody out and nobody scores, hurts more.

  42. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    If you are gouing yo ygrow it in the dirt, then dont leave it up, an easy golf shot.

  43. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    That's not an "easy golf shot." That was a good pitch. It was't as low as Soriano would've liked it, but it was well below the zone.

  44. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Seeing Ellis up at bat wearing # 14 makes me think of Gil Hodges. I've never understood why the Dodgers haven't retired his number.

  45. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Agreed. He had to go way down to get it.

  46. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Yeah Paul – I said on the other blog… I didnt agree with puttin Sori in now… I would have put in Abad… But I digress..If we lose this game, 1-9 for RISP is a huge reason… Also, Chad Tracy…

  47. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    To a righty a good pitch to a lefty a terrible pitch.

  48. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    oh cool, Tracy is batting this inning!! we got this.

  49. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    "Ghost Of Steve M. said… FP really ticked me off last Saturday on the national FOX broadcast. He was quite neutral as you need to be on a national broadcast then he had a chance on that 6th inning K of Harper and didn't say a word about the ump blowing it."The ump didn't blow it. In the absence of a pitch track box on the screen, that pitch looked like it was on the black, and FP said as much.

  50. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Well, the Mets retired it.

  51. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    There's your trade bait. Soriano for a good hitter. Let clip close. Another disgusting loss. Hes got 1 job and he fails.

  52. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Lets see if our hitters have heart or are quitters.

  53. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    That was not a good AB by Desmond. At all.

  54. DJB - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    I think this season is over. I would consider being a seller by the trade deadline.

  55. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Ian didn't bother . Tracy at least hit tge ball.

  56. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    FP just nailed it. Bases loaded, nobody out and you don't score, that was the ball game.

  57. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    That was a strike. Pathetic Desmond. No waybwe should have lost this game. Just a terrible team now 7 games back. And yet nothing will change. Nothing. Fans deserve better. Davey is a complete Moron. What a bunch of losers.

  58. Unknown - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Disgusting. This team has zero heart.

  59. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    If we are going to sell first I would dump Eck

  60. DJB - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    I look at the mannerisms of the batters and I can see they have given up. I think there is something rotten in the clubhouse.

  61. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Not a very start or sign to second half of season. Almost 40,000 at the park tonight and in reality, the Nats only scored 1 run. Umpire's bad call helped the Nats.Stras and Clip the only positives tonight, period. This was the one game in this series that Nats should have won. 5th inning said it all tonight an was a synopsis of the 2013 Nats… One day, when Stars has decent hitters around him, he will win a game like this easily. No words to describe SORRYiano, do not care about his saves, this is a game that really mattered and he choked. Just like that, third place and falling. Nats will not see 2nd place the rest of the season. There is no spin tonight. Harper swinging like cave man

  62. ObsessedNatsFan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Same old Nats. They start second half with another bad loss. Game was obviously lost when they came up with a big fat 0 with bases juiced and 0 outs. Unfnreal!

  63. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Should a listened to Mick back in March.

  64. David Proctor - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    Well now we have to beat Clayton Kershaw.Good luck to us.

  65. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    If nothing changes, nothing changes

  66. paul brandt - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    pathetic offensive outing…just awful!

  67. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Desi doesnt swing at a strike to strike, Ramos swings at curve taling out to strike out.We need some eye sights checked.I have called for that all season too.Soriano pitch according to knight was pitched to eithiers strength.

  68. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Booooooooooooooooloooooooo. Go soak your heads. Now below the phillies. Forget it. Now time for the sugar coating post game. I cant even look at Daveys post game. What a putz

  69. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    1 run tonight in reality, if Nats could not beat this guy, they won't come close to scoring verse any other pitcher this weekend…Nats are 3rd or 4th place club period

  70. Knoxville Nat - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Mick, as I recall Zim did have two hits tonight. Stars and Klip were great but let's not sell RZ short tonight.

  71. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Secret wasian manwhat a bust of a season….

  72. DJB - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    My gut tells me the problem is Ryan Zimm. He's not a "Rah-Rah" guy he says. Package him, buy out his contract, give him extra money if need be, but the problem is him. Re-build for the 2015-2016 seasons.

  73. jeffwx - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    What do you expect Ray,comparing our bench to LA, AtlBernadina strikes out on that pitch. Ethier hits it out.

  74. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Knoxville Natyour right, the good news tonight was Stras…he will be something when he gets good players around him… look this team is very over rated with a lot of dead weight…unacceptable tonight… bases loaded zero outs with your top hitters up and not scoring a run says it all…that is not one of those things, that is crap!!!

  75. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Move clip to closer. Dump sorry on ohhhhhh. He doesn't care. Hes just a mercenary. Trade him tor a guy who can hit 250. What stinks in the dugout is Davey. If this guy cared he would quit. And Desmond you shouldn't get a paycheck for that last ab

  76. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    you read it here first… Nats will not see 2nd place again in 2013, Phillies will be battling for the East…Nats will be just an embarrassing group trying not to finish 4th.

  77. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    Secret wasian manwell said on SORRYiano

  78. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Your right MICK. This team needs an enema

  79. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    All soriano cares about is untuxking his stupid shirt Hes not a national. Hes a paycheck. Clip has earned it. Let him close. Stink stank stunk.

  80. Greg Essner - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Rizzo a jackass,the stinking marlins will finish ahead of us bank it

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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