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Game 98: Dodgers at Nats

Jul 21, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Fresh off two losses to begin the season's second half, matters won't get any easier for the Nationals with Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98 ERA) on the mound. He takes the ball for the Dodgers who will go up against Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58), making for a pretty decent pitching matchup on Sunday afternoon.

Kershaw is 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA against the Nationals in his career. In three starts at Nationals Park, however, the lefty has struggled with seven earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.

Adam LaRoche is back in Washington's lineup, giving Davey Johnson a chance to shake things up. He has Bryce Harper playing center field and batting leadoff, with Scott Hairston in left and batting seventh. This is only the second game this season Harper has been the Nats' starting center fielder and the second time he has batted first.

Matt Kemp returns to center for the Dodgers after missing time with irritation in the A/C joint of his left shoulder. Today is the first time this season that Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford are all in the Dodgers' lineup at the same time.

Updates to come…

LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9, TBS, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 89
Weather: Isolated storms (50% chance of rain), 89 degrees

NATIONALS (48-49)
CF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth

Read more »

327 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    If we had had Morse's 10 or 12 homers in April and May, we would have won several more games. This team cannot bunch hits. We have to have the long ball to win. We took 30 potential homers out of our line up by dealing Morse and brought in 0 homers to replace him.Those mathematics will never work. Trust me.

  2. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Rizzo will make good trades as a seller.Matt Capps for Wilson RamosHe is an excellent judge of young talent.

  3. ObsessedNatsFan - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    *not going

  4. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    The Morse trade may pay off in the future, no doubt. But this was World Series or Bust, no? At the least, how could any of us have thought that Span could match Morse's production? We should have realized that the team was stepping back for a year.

  5. ObsessedNatsFan - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    *not going

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    jeffwx said… Could we have gotten more for Morse ?Certainly, Alex Meyer.If Rizzo traded Morse at the Winter Meetings he would have gotten much more for him. Krol was a nice bonus and he was a throw-in.

  7. df57a0f4-abbc-11e2-affa-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    I find it irritating that in one of our worst beatings of the year, every one of your posts is blaming people who aren't playing today.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    I am beginning to get a little tired of hearing how great the Ramos trade was. We shall see, but he is far from a great hitter and he is far from great defensively. He is downright awful at plays at the plate. I think we will know for sure by next year if Ramos is actually a good catcher or not. Suzuki was a good pick up last year and who knows what happens with Flores, but Suzuki seems to wear down.

  9. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Lol… Lol… Lol….

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    jeffwx, Ramos was a trade while Kasten was still the Prez. We can go through all the trades one by one when Rizzo was on his own.

  11. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    So should we hammer Jordan? He has been pretty damn good although he may be wearing down in July. I happen to think that most of the blame for this debacle goes to the people that get mentioned on here and it is entirely fair.SI still picked us to make it to the NLCS this year in their last issue. It is hard to see that happening.

  12. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I wonder if MnF stayed at the game…

  13. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    13 hits to 1!

  14. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    hmmm, I thought Rizzo was involved.He definitely has strength as a judge of young talent which is part of the job of being a GM…Agree, he's made more bad trades than good ones.1. Alex Meyer – so far, we lost2. Morse – a wash given what has happened to him3. Gio – A wash so far4. signing Werth, not worth it5. Signing Zimm, no choice.6. Signing Soriano, a plus.

  15. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    We got squat for Morse. Are you actually kidding? Yes, Kroll has been very good, but 10 innings by a spot reliever does not take the place of a .290 career hitter capable of hitting 35 or more homers. Cole has digressed so badly that he was literally dumped back to us. And where is Cole? Rookie Ball. Yeah, we got a truck load of 'players for Morse. What a joke.As everyone from Boswell on down finally agree on: the Morse dumping conflated with the Span pickup was a bad deal at best, a disaster at worst. Now this is all predicated on the fact that Morse can get back to the ballfield to play some games. But the Morse deal is all but academic: it was very bad deal that desperately hurt this team.to say otherwise is rather foolish.

  16. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    AJ Cole is only 21 years old. Everything I've read still thinks of him very highly. Fangraphs loves him. Baseball Prospectus likes him a lot. He wasn't "dumped" back to us, he was a return in a trade. There was just a piece the other day linked here that said they still view him as a front of the rotation starter. So, you're wrong.

  17. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Well, some trades you get lucky. eg: Morse is injury prone and it showed again this year.I agree the Span trade was a bad one

  18. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I disagree with this notion that if guys get hurt after being traded that they would have necessarily been hurt here. Who knows?The Nats got rid of arguably their most popular player and brought in a cipher in center field, a guy who seems nice enough but has no personality and is not in any way a skilled offensive player.

  19. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    How in the world is Gio a wash? Werth not worth it? What?

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Oakland seems to be better without Gio, though, somehow….

  21. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Stick a fork in the Nats, folks. Its all over but the shouting.To win 90 games, the Nats need to play .680 baseball beginning right now. And even 90 games probably wont get them into either wild card.So, sit back and relax and just watch the games for the games sake. Or, don't watch at all, and don't bitch bitch bitch here.

  22. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Cano would be picture perfect for this team. Its pretty unrealistic, but I'm not sure how anyone could argue the converse. A power hitting 2B is exactly what this team needs. And the fact that he is left handed just makes it all the better.The lineup has to be upgraded going forward and 2B is the easiest position to upgrade because you don't have dislodge a guy you are committed to long term. Rendon goes to third and Zim to first. Laroche should be traded for prospects in the near future. If he had any interest in leaving NY, you actually could probable get Cano for the combined salaries of Laroche and Haren, both of whom should be gone by next season.

  23. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Cano wants at least 7 years. The last thing we need is another huge, long-term contract for an aging player. Cano would be great for a few years, but after that…

  24. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Who said gio is a wash? I'll take Gio and give away Milone and Norris every day of the week

  25. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Werth, not a 100 million dollar player. I like himbut not worth it. 7. letting go of all your left handed relievers except Zack Duke, not good.

  26. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    The other thing that is depressing about this season is that last September, Strasburg and Harper looked to be the best young talents in the game. Now they both look good, not great. There are many pitchers in baseball whose teams would not trade straight up for Strasburg. We went from having the best young field player and the best young pitcher to maybe not having such a thing anymore….

  27. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Agreed No Cano. What is it about these players that they're productivity declines the moment they sign that huge contract.

  28. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    and a.j. cole

  29. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Yes, it is probably not going to work out for that reason. But maybe the Lerners could be talked into it.If you can't get him, you are going to have to get creative/break up portions of the team in order to upgrade the offense, which simply has to happen.

  30. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    I know this is an unpopular opinion but…is it possible Danny Espinosa figures it out?

  31. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Ok, So far, Gio a positive.I do think Milone, A.J. Cole and Norris will be good.

  32. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    If the Nats are still struggling in the next few weeks, I'd say call Danny up and lets find out.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    jeffwx said… hmmm, I thought Rizzo was involved.He definitely has strength as a judge of young talent which is part of the job of being a GM…Agree, he's made more bad trades than good ones.1. Alex Meyer – so far, we lost2. Morse – a wash given what has happened to him3. Gio – A wash so far4. signing Werth, not worth it5. Signing Zimm, no choice.6. Signing Soriano, a plus.The Jerry Hairston trade and the Jason Marquis trade and the Nyjer Morgan trade and the Henry Rodriguez trade won't amount to any Major Leaguers.I'm still of the opinion that the Nats had opportunities to trade Morse with Espinosa and Storen in a multi-team trade and didn't do it.

  34. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I think people thought Span might hit .300 and get on base at a clip of .360 or so, while stealing 35 bases out of 40 and leading the league in runs scored. The reality has been so far from that. Bernadina can field just as well and actually smacks homers once in a while.We are just horrible offensively and I think we might have just been lucky with Tyler Moore socking those ten homers in the middle of last year. We don't even hit homers anymore.

  35. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    William, listening to you, one might think the Nationals are life and death. It's baseball, dude. This is an off year. Now Rizzo didn't help any with some horrible moves. I wonder how foolish Rizzo feels about acquiring Span: no hit, no power, lousy base stealer, etc. He is a good outfielder, though. But what a waste in any lineup. Span is a good #9 on an American League team. Haha and Rizzo and his legion of fans (on here) thought Span was THE MISSING PIECE. What a complete joke

  36. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    "I think people thought Span might hit .300 and get on base at a clip of .360 or so, while stealing 35 bases out of 40 and leading the league in runs scored."Who in the world thought that? I sure didn't. I expected him to hit .280, get on base around .350 and steal 20/25 bases. A disappointment either way.

  37. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    The problem with the Morse trade is that it was made at all. They really needed a power right handed bat that could spell Werth and Laroche. He was perfect for the role and he was only like 8 million a year. I know they thought that TyMo could fill that role, but that was speculation, and this was supposed to be world series or bust. Why would you trade a guy who could get you 300 at bats for prospects when you are actively trying to win the world series?But it's all water under the bridge now. The point is that I hope Rizzo learned that he has not been placing enough emphasis on offense in constructing this team.

  38. jeffwx - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    8. Willingham for brown/HRod a negative.I guess your point Ghost, that Rizzo could have gotten more for players is a good one. Too bad, Kasten left.

  39. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Haha for once, DP I agree with you 100%. What were people thinking? Anyone could look at his stats, even his basestealing stats to know he was a mediocre player with average to below average base stealing ability.Looking at Spans stats: not many doubles, whole lot of triples told the tale. His power was So weak that he lacked the ability to drive the ball into the gaps. With the triples meant that he could pull the ball down the line — a thing that weak hitters try to do. A danger sign — and no one but a few got it? Spans stats show that he is thrown out stealing 1/2 as many times as he attempts. That is not a good base stealer. Now we see that he has poor ability to get a good jump — that's pretty bad. And this is what Rizzo dumped a power slugger with a good avg for? Absolutely ludicrous. But I've been bitching about those deals since the winter. But I was spot on!! Unfortunately

  40. Whack-a-Mule - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Mule has returned to the stable somewhat before time. After 1 1/2 innings, Mule turned into Eeyore and left the stadium, heading homeward. After sitting through the 19 innings of Friday and Saturday, today was just too much.Earlier, Mark quoted Desmond on clubhouse morale as "I think we're doing fine." Perhaps so. Mule would be disturbed to learn that the team and the clubhouse were "doing fine" after this level of humiliation in their own house.Further insight eagerly awaited.

  41. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    NatsFansSinceStart, but Morse wasn't traded for Span. They could have kept both.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    jeffwx said… 8. Willingham for brown/HRod a negative.I guess your point Ghost, that Rizzo could have gotten more for players is a good one. Too bad, Kasten left. I have long said he can't make good decisions without a baseball guy overseeing his moves. Worse than the Willingham trade was that Henry had no MiLB options and Rizzo stuck with him for 2 1/3 years of just frustrating baseball.

  43. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    WODL, I have to hand it to you. Anyone could complain about the pitching in a 9-1 blowout.It takes a special kind of fan to complain about a hitter who isn't even in the game, and whose replacement is 0-3 with 2Ks.Bravo!

  44. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Not that I want any part of Espi – but Rendon looks to be a sub par infielder, one of the worst second baseman I've seen in years — literally. He is horrible. Now his hitting has cooled. After reading Rizzo's response to a reporter's questions about Espi, you can tell he's not in a good frame of mind about him right now. Espi wouldn't tell anyone that he was hurt or at least the extent of his injury v– he resisted coaching on his swing, or just couldn't get it — and Rizzo is pissed. But — if Rendon is as bad an infielder as I think he is, no matter what he hits, no team can afford to have him in the infield. hells, bells, he struggles to make that short throw. he is a fielding disaster waiting to happen — if he's destined to level off in the ,270's, and Espi Does find his swing — bring up Espi and give him 0ne —– last ——- look.

  45. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    If you admit that you thought that Jayson Werth was only mildly exaggerating when he said that the Nats would win 120 games, admit it. You drank the Kool-Aid. And it was tasty….

  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Haren to the rescue tomorrow!

  47. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    hiramhoover, you get kudos for the most ignorant comment of the year. That's right. You can judge MLB players based on what they did today. You must want to trade Jordan Zimmerman. Wow, Chad Tracy had several hits yesterday, make him a starter.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    A smart baseball man above Rizzo would've said if that is the best trade you can get for Willingham then we will keep him but there had to have been better deals out there just like for Michael Morse.Rizzo's biggest problem is timing his deals. If he traded Nyjer sooner or Henry or Marquis or Hairston then he may have found some better trades.

  49. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    It's baffling that the Dodgers, with all the money they've spent, still haven't locked up Kershaw–the best pitcher in all of MLB.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Phillies shut out.

  51. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Willingham could have really helped us.

  52. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    What are earth are you talking about with regard to Rendon as an infielder? He has done a fine job at 2B considering he hasn't even played there since high school or something. And he projects as a plus 3B.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    David, Kershaw will be locked up to a deal averaging $28 million per year. Not sure when it will be announced.

  54. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    DP – Nats are about to trade Espi, Det, Moore and Haren and a ptbnl to the dodgers for Kershaw….You didnt know… *snickers*

  55. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Phillies lose, Braves are losing. Had a perfect opportunity to gain ground. And again, we do nothing. And we do nothing in the most epic way possible. Well Werth is having a fine day…too bad it doesn't matter.

  56. SCNatsFan - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    If morse was here we still wouldn't be a playoff team

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Kershaw is an amazing pitcher but he made several mistakes today including 2 tee'd up fastballs to RZim. That last HR by Werth was on a high pitch. Great job by JW getting his hands up to drive it.

  58. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Werth is having the best day seeing Kershaw…, Kershaw has made a number of mistakes today…

  59. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I''m following sjm's request not to yell for trading players or Davey…Let me say this…it is poetic that the lone run came from the ONLY offensive player on the team who has guts and is not a quitter and has won a World Serieswhen you get swept at home…you stink, this franchise is the worst in baseball as of 7/21/2013…. what gutless and cowardly group of quitters, the exception is Werrththis sorry no account team will lose between 85-90 games and the balled headed stooge Rizzo will make it worse..I have zero faith in that moron, just watching Hairston play says it all

  60. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Whoever said Werth wasn't worth it. a comment: Don't look now, but Werth is by far our best hitter. He is keeping this sinking like the Titanic team together! Thus far, Werth was and still is worth his contract.Laroche: so bad. We signed him after his peak career year — at the age of 32. Anyone could have correctly guessed that things with Laroche would and could get NO better. And today, whats he got ? 3 ks? after missing just two games, he is so out of sorts that he might have needed some minor league rehab to get "back in shape." haha No wonder Laroche has such slow starts — after sitting for the winter, even the Spring isn't enough time for him to get ready. I wonder how much of it has to do with his severe ADD?

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Mattingly and his staff have done an incredible job coaching this series. Their decision late in the game to put Uribe at "no doubles" while Davey didn't do the same with RZim was a huge difference in strategies along with how each handled their bullpens and pinch-hitters.Davey's only coup seemed to be Bernadina's RBI single yesterday. Davey's moves just didn't work while Mattingly's moves worked out every time but the Bernadina single.

  62. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    This team has QUITshame on them!!!!!

  63. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I went to the grill and somehow we got a run. I am guessing it was a homer since we don't do multiple hits….

  64. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    The Lerners need to act now, this is unacceptable

  65. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Maybe we should be considering moving starters' dates based upon match-ups and just concede the games against opponents' aces, except we also seem to have trouble with other teams' worst pitchers, so maybe not.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    mick said… I''m following sjm's request not to yell for trading players or Davey…Again, I'm nervous about Nats being in trade mode. If Rizzo follows his history of deadline moves the Nats will get future AAA stars like he got with Komatsu (Hairston) and bad glove Zach Walters (Marquis).

  67. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Lerners made big money this week-end.

  68. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Lets take account.catcher: no production, poor CS stats1b: .250 15 homers, but gold glove2b: rookie who looks very lost defensively – ss Desi is doing just fine3b: .280 10 homers, poor defensively, leading major league 3b in errosLF: Harper is not a good outfielder, and for all his potential, he is not producing — CF: Span — already talked about this lost soulRF: Werth is fine.So we have lots of potential, but only two really producing all around players: Werth and Desi — everyone else has problems.Shockingly, this team is not a good team right now — and no guarantees it will get better. I hope I'm wrong

  69. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    The outfield has been great today. Seriously.

  70. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Ghost… I was OK with Rizzo staying another season, now I think it would be the death knell of the franchise if this arrogant stooge stays on another year…he has done enough damage for 2 teams!!!

  71. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Harper actually is an excellent outfielder, but he was a catcher just a few years back. You can't keep moving him all over. He should have left in one place from the beginning. He does look a bit lost in general since he ran into the wall. Leave it to the Nats to suck all the life out of Strasburg and Harper by over-managing them.

  72. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    The only Nationals who would be off the table for trades if I could be GM for a day would be Gio, Zimmermann, Stras, Harper, and maybe Kroll — everyone else? "Make me an offer!"

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    If Rendon grabs that Hanley grounder, Ohlendorf has 6 full no run innings. Great performance regardless.I'll ask again, why didn't he take Haren's spot in the rotation 2 months ago?

  74. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    I predict the Pirates will not only sweep the Nats, the run differential will something like 22-3 over the 4 games…that will put the streak at 7 and then the attendance will stay under 20,000 the rest of the year.The good news is the Lerners will tell Stooge Rizzo and Norv Turner to get the hell out of here!

  75. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    "LF: Harper is not a good outfielder, and for all his potential, he is not producing"What? His OPS+ is 144. That means he's 44% better than average. Manny Machado's OPS+ for instance is 116. Werth's is 122.

  76. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    WODLYou missed the point. Entirely.Why am I not surprised?

  77. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Harper is an okay outfielder… He is still learning… He is a catcher playing OF and I obviously still learning…

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    One thing I will admit, I liked the Span trade but hoped at the time Rizzo would keep Morse.I think it would be smart to trade ALR if the Nats can move him for a good prospect.

  79. mick - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    I'll ask again, why didn't he take Haren's spot in the rotation 2 months ago?answer: the manager of the Nats is a jack ass, plain and simple

  80. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    I haven't seen any empirical evidence that Harper is an "excellent outfielder." He gets turned around the wrong way and still has trouble judging the ball.Let's move Harper back to catcher. Guarantee with he adrenaline rush of catching, his average would jump 100 points — not to mention, No One is stealing a base with Harper back there. He is not an outfielder

  81. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    I don't think the decision was between Morse and Span… But Morse and LaRoche…Glad that Morse is gone…

  82. karlkolchak - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    NatsFanSinceStart – just as important:Bench – worst in the majors.Farm System – utterly bereft of MLB-ready position player prospects.Unfortunately, these two points have troubling implications beyond this year. The younger guys HAVE to step it up if this team is going to return to contender status.

  83. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I used to get a kick out of people dissing Morse' defense — even Davey. But just check out his fielding Avg in 2011 when he got to play 100 games or so at 1b. His fielding average was .02 higher than Laroche.– Laroche last year had a .984 FA — Morse that year had .982. And — surprisingly, Morse had 0.4 more chances per game than did Laroche. It was just a bad bad deal

  84. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Harper 0-4 another K seems that the entire league knows that he's a sucker for the low, inside slider breaking into him. He always swings and always misses by a foot.Time for you to produce, Harp. I'm beginning to question you super star status

  85. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Ghost, yes, I agree that they should now trade Laroche. If they can get him hot for a couple weeks, the Yankees would be pretty desperate for him. Get a good prospect and dump the salary.Also, Detroit is absolutely desperate for a closer. The Nats should decide if they think Storen is going to get back to being a closer type. If so, trade Soriano to the Tigers. If not, trade Storen to the Tigers. Either way, rake Detroit over the coals.Also listen on Span. They don't need to move him, but if you get a good offer, feel free.

  86. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Okay NatsFanSinceStart, completely ignore what I said and continue trolling with the Harper bashing. I'll repost so you see it:"What? His OPS+ is 144. That means he's 44% better than average. Manny Machado's OPS+ for instance is 116. Werth's is 122."

  87. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    DPHarper is a fantastic player. His defense is fine, and his offensive ceiling is thru the roof. But he is not producing at the plate right now.Those season stats were fueled by his red hot April. His #s for July are barely better than for May, before he went on the DL. His wRC+ for July is 97 (before today's 0-4). In other words, he's producing slightly below MLB average.I'm sure it will pick up, and I hope it's not a product of a lingering injury that hasn't yet been revealed. But it should be at least a mild concern.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Now Davey brings Abad in. Where was he to face Schumaker in the top of the 7th yesterday to face Skip Schumaker in the LOOGY situation?That was the difference in the game yesterday.

  89. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Those July numbers are largely fueled by the 0-19 he had after returning from the DL, I would imagine. Since then, I thought he's been fine. I'm open to being proven wrong though.

  90. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I do not like Harper in the lead off….

  91. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Hiramhover, if you want to make a good point, then make one. I can't be bothered to figure out your cryptic mutterings when I am trying to fix a baseball team….

  92. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    OPS +? Too subjective for me to consider it an authentic gauge. When you have nerds subjectively judgting and adjusting numbers based on League and Ball Park effects, I am a little skeptical of hanging my hat on it.OPs: the best indicator, in my opinion.OPS + just OPS with gimmickery added in

  93. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Yeah, you have said that about 1000 times, Mrs. B. You want to go down with ship with Span hitting his weak-ass grounders to first and pop-ups to 2nd. We know you believe that they should just wait out Span's five year slump. You say it every day no matter what.

  94. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Could the Nats get Stanton for a package built around Desmond? How about Desmond plus Span plus Storen plus Karns?I don't want to trade Desi, but you have to do something to fix this lineup. And I'm not sure what you can do without tearing to down first. What this team really needs are some elite level hitters that provide a margin for error for everyone else.

  95. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Interestingly enough Abad is in… I thought DJ may have been saving him for trade options…But I swear that inside pitch, Nats pitchers aren't getting…

  96. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Harper's OPS is still high. His OPS is .895. Werth's is .812. Machado's is .804.So Harper is still pretty damn good, even by your own metric.

  97. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    DPI wish that were true. Last 10 days, he's hitting .210 with 14 Ks.

  98. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I hate being wrong. Who doesn't? But I pride myself on being man enough to admit it when I am wrong.And I was wrong about something.On April 1, I predicted the Nats were no better than a .500 club this year. But I was wrong. The Nats may finish 10 or more games UNDER ,500.

  99. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    The empirical evidence that Harper is an excellent outfielder has to do with his fielding stats last year. Go look them up and then tell us why you disagree with his having better center field stats than Span last year since I am sure that you have already made up your mind….

  100. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Unlike you William, I'm not hung up on Span… I just said that I don't like Harper in the lead off… But you continue to carry on that conversation… I'm beginning to think my Unknown or Unky were correct in his/her assessment….

  101. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    "You say it every day no matter what."The same could be said about you dragging Span into every single conversation, no matter what. Half the discussion today has been about Span who isn't even playing, because you brought it up.

  102. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Tampa Bay and Boston need set-up men and closers. There will be a chance for the Nats to trade for prospects.

  103. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    No, you defend Span every single day on here without ever providing even a bit of statistics to back it up. You charm us with brilliant insights like, "I would just wait out his slump." Comments like that are a waste of time.

  104. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    David – which is why I don't pay attention to what most of William says… Same thing, different day… I'm over it…

  105. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    WODLSee DP at 4:21–is that clear enough for you?Thanks, DP.

  106. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    And have you noticed that our offense has been better today without Span? We have gotten 2 runs off an excellent pitcher.

  107. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    There is not one player (maybe werth) who doesn't pitch who is better than average. NONE!!!!!!

  108. hiramhover - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Yes, Span's absence is entirely responsible for Werth's two solo homers.Wow.

  109. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Idk why y'all even bother sometimes…

  110. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    William, Please. Looking up stats to prove whose a better outfielder is folly. A ball that is misjudged and goes over the lost outfielders head get ruled a hit — and DOES NOT SHOW UP IN THE STATS. You know that, right? I am not a huge Span fan. But one thing Span does better than Harper? he is a superior outfielder Harper. Don't you see how often Harper looks awkard in tracking a fly ball — twice today alone? William, do we watch the same game? To summarize: the one thing Span does better than Harper is fielding his position. harper is a converted catcher and looks like itoo

  111. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Wow Abad. How do you do that? He had no intention of ever swinging and you walk him. Mattheus is returning soon…

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Was Abad doing a pitch around to get to the lefty? ;(

  113. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Let's all stipulate for the record that Mrs. B doesn't like Harper as the lead-off. Heard and noted. Now if you have some sort of insight as to why he isn't suited for lead-off, I am all ears. Tell us based upon batting order and production and on base percentage and slugging and running stats, why Harper is a horrible choice for lead-off, but all you ever say is the same phrase over and over.

  114. Unknown - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Well, the only bright side is that we've found our 5th starter — Ohlendorf. He deserves a shot. Wow, even with my tempered expectations (90 wins and 6th place in NL, just missing WC #2), this is a disappointing season. Even the optimists must admit there is NO CHANCE of a run to the playoffs. A .500 season is now a stretch goal. What a disaster. The only ones who aren't underperforming is the fans, who keep coming in droves to watch wretched baseball. Wonder when the Post will do a story on that? Oh, I already know, NEVER!

  115. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Here is a list of free agents this off season. Not sure who the Nats should sign to add some pop to this line up if Cano is not a possibility.They could trade Span and move Harper back to center and sign Choo or something. But assuming RZim is moving to first, you have to sign a 2B or a 3B (depending on where Rendon stays). And that 2B or 3B has to be better than Laroche or you have just made your bad offense worse. http://www.sportstalkflorida.com/mlb/2014-free-agents/

  116. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Looking forward to seeing Mattheus

  117. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Maybe. But Harper has twice the arm that Span has and he is still in improvement mode, dude. Span is what he is and is sliding by the day….

  118. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Uhm… Well he kept the score the same… I guess… Abad seems to be getting the HRod treatment…And NatsFanSinceStart – Harp is a good outfielder… But he is learning… If the Of is where he is gonna be, he is gonna go thru some trials…

  119. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    TexNat: Who said Morse was traded for Span. Morse was dumped for two low minor leaguers — After Span was acquired. Hello?

  120. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    And I agree entirely with what you say about fielding stats, natsfanfromstart, but it is just as easy to overestimate the value of an outfielder who looks smooth out there and the same thing happens in basketball and soccer. Some guys look better than they are and some guys look worse. Harper is a better outfielder than he appears. Span is about as good as he appears, but he ain't diving for balls out there they way that Harper does. If Span can't catch it smoothly, he doesn't bother…

  121. TexNat - Jul 21, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    That is my point. The mistake was letting Morse go after that trade. They needed him as a fourth outfielder. You (or someone else, I can't remember) were acting as if getting Span meant they had to get rid of Morse. Not so.

  122. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Mrs B: Harper will be a good outfielder, one day soon, he just doesn't look comfortable out there right now. Better than MOrse, better than Lombo. Harper can do anything he wants. I'd like to see him catching. Although, that we'll never see. But I would surely enjoy his energy and arm behind that plate. The other day they caught a camera shot of Harper in left yawning between pitches. That boy needs to be more involved — let him catch – watch him hit

  123. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Chad Tracy is on fire. Trade him!

  124. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    I'm not disagreeing with you NFSS… I think Harp is a good Of… Certainly not top caliber… Yet… But I think he will get there…Definitely has some growing pains, and we saw some this year…

  125. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Maybe Tracy finally got it going…. Lol…

  126. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Yeah, we agree, Tex. I'm still mad about those moves — literally. The team's record and comportment, I think are directly related to those bad moves. Who in his right mind could even compare the offensive production of Span to Morse (when Morse is healthy that is). And as I pointed out earlier, Morse, while a lousy outfielder, was an excellent first baseman. Afterall, he came up as a Cal ripken style big Shortstop — they should have let Laroche go onto his merry way. Next year, Laroche will be Worse — he'll be 34 and an old 34 at that. Span too. Span looks like an old man to me. His numbers are dropping — and will be worse next year too. What does Rizzo do? He is in deep doo doo if you ask me

  127. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    I agree with you B — Harper will get there — I think he can do anything that he wants. Actually, I'd go all in and train him to be our Permanent Center fielder. Bye Bye Span — don't spend those millions in one placeOr, bat Span 8th — and move his weak arm to left field.It is rare to see a major league team playing its strongest arm in LF. Actually I'd bring up Corey Brown — -put him in Center, Harper in Right and Werth in Left — that's my September outfield

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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ON THE RADIO

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