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‘Bad day’ ends with another loss

Jul 23, 2013, 5:10 AM EDT

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This is what it has come to for the Nationals. After falling for the fourth straight game, the ninth time in 11 games, after falling to three games below the .500 mark for the first time in nearly two years, after an emotional day that saw their popular hitting coach fired, they were left citing the positives from their 6-5 loss to the Pirates.

Despite trailing by five runs early, the Nationals rallied to get within a run and were 180 feet from tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Was it wrong to consider this an encouraging development, given the situation this team is in right now?

“No, not at this point,” Adam LaRoche admitted. “We’re looking for anything positive to take out of a ballgame, and that was a great run late. Tying run in scoring position and one hit away. You can’t expect to drive that run in every time. We don’t give ourselves that many opportunities right there. So it was nice to have.”

Maybe it’s all the Nationals can do, cling to whatever glimmer of hope there is on a given night. There wasn’t much else to be hopeful about on Monday, a day that left manager Davey Johnson weathered and worn down.
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114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    RISP 6 for last 75.Every single game you lose is a bad day. Today is no different. We loss it was bad.No worse than any otger day we lose.

  2. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 23, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Damn fat fingersNo worse than any other day we lose.I hate losing.

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    ASE,Rizzo joined in 2006 as Asst GM/VP of baseball operations so he was there when Zimmermann, Detwiler, and Norris were drafted in 2007, Danny and Tommy M in 2008, Storen, Jordan, and Karns in 2009, Solis and Cole in 2010, Meyer, Purke, Goodwin, and Skole in 2011, and Giolito in 2012.He was also there when Clippard was traded for. Gio remains his best move. Yes he gave up four players but are they outproducing him combined? nope. Gorzo's rule is filled Ross O and MGon's rule is by Krol. BTW both are Rizzo signing or trade pickups. Cole is back in our system. Morse is on DL for someone else.Just like any other GM, there are positive and negative signings and trades associated with him. Even Billy Beans or Moz from STL have made their shares.

  4. jeeves - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Obviously, the lack of hitting with risp is by far the main reason for the Nat's failure. However, it also seems that, with the exception of Clip, the bullpen, over and over, gives up a key run in many games. Extra inning games seem to always be won by the opposition. Of course, the offensive seldom comes through in these situations as well. But overall, the bullpen is quite unimpressive.

  5. jeeves - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    'offense' I meant to write.

  6. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    No worse than any otger day we lose. To each his own. I'd prefer being in the game until the last at bat, rather than, say, the night before losing 9-2Extra inning games seem to always be won by the opposition.We're 5-7 in extra innings.However, it also seems that, with the exception of Clip, the bullpen, over and over, gives up a key run in many games….overall, the bullpen is quite unimpressive. It just seems that way because we can't get hits.Nats starters ERA: 3.70Nats relievers ERA: 3.52At this point, frankly, I think the Nats problems are described by three words:hitting, hitting, and hitting

  7. Section 135 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Send Storen down when Mattheus returns. He needs to work on holding runners and getting lefties out. He can't handle the pressure will only continue to falter up here. Whether its mental or physical doesn't matter. He was rushed to the majors and still has a lot to learn .

  8. Candide - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    A DC Wonk said…Nats starters ERA: 3.70 Nats relievers ERA: 3.52 At this point, frankly, I think the Nats problems are described by three words: hitting, hitting, and hittingNats are 14th in the NL in runs scored, only ahead of the Marlins. The Cards have scored 110 more runs than the Nats this year.Not just hitting, but situational hitting. Swinging for the 6-run HR when a bloop single will tie the game, stuff like that.* Went looking for team RISP stats, can't find them – anyone know where they are? *Yes, I'm looking at you, Desmond.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    I was listening on the radio, so I watch the video of that play this morning. (1) the Pirates' feed has a replay where it looks like Alvarez touched the plate. (2) Storen was too busy slamming his glove down in frustration to hear if anyone was shouting at him to tag the runner. I am really OVER Drew Storen right now. Of course I hope he can turn it around, but FUNDAMENTALS.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    As for hitting, someone posted that it doesn't matter if it's 5-4 or 1-0, relievers' jobs is to pitch their, excuse me, ONE INNING (mostly) and hold the game. Krol and Storen did not do their job last night. I grant you Haren, but that was water long gone from under the bridge. It was 5-3 and LaRoche and Werth had already hit homeruns. Stammen didn't look great, but he battled for his innings, and won. Heaven ONLY knows who will pitch if Taylor Jordan gets in trouble early today.

  11. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    sjm308 said…Have not read a damn thing! Just got out of the Robert Plant concert at Wolf Trap. Honestly, the best Rock & Roll concert in my 68 years! Oh, was there a game? Ears are still ringing!, second row!!Stones in 81 at old Cap Centre and every Springsteen concert are pretty darn good toolol

  12. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Ian is no all star period and has long way to go to be a really good player. For a guy who said a month ago arrogantly to a MASN reporter that the team had turned it around, he must feel pretty humble right now or at least he should be

  13. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Heaven ONLY knows who will pitch if Taylor Jordan gets in trouble early today.Nats could call up someone this afternoon at Cuse or Potomac just in case, other than that, you would have to go one inning at time with Clip, Abad, Storen, etc… and bite the bullet…the outcome would be inevitable at that point and Davey may have to just let him stay until the 7th

  14. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    sjmin your 68 years, you did not happen to see a 4 boys from Liverpool in 1964 at the Uline Arena?? That would have been number one for me all time!!

  15. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Fired the one too few guys. Davey is just a feebel old man at this point. Here is my plan.Fire both Eck and Davey. Send Drew, Lombo, Roger to AA and make them earn a spot on the roster….what a concept…..DFA Tracy and Haren and Hairston. That leaves you with 7 roster spots to fill and Manager and Hitting coach.Manager should be Werth. What could it get worse? Let him prove what he has been saying about how good he is. As for the Roster spots. No winning anyway so it does not matter but I would use them to reward AA talent that has done well. I would also use some of them to pick up Suzuki type talent. Too expensive for their current team that is out of the race.

  16. nats guy - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I just hope that Gio is really telling the truth about BioGenesis. If not that would really put the cap on this year and a lot of next year. After Ryan Braun, McGwire, Bonds et al it is relly hard to believe. I just hope for him.

  17. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I was traveling yesterday for the Eck/ Braun/ royal baby dramas. As for Davey, what you usually hear in this situation is– this is baseball, we all know this is how it works. But we hear a leader who is supposed to be inspiring confidence whining and crying and not backing up his GM. Oh for goodness sake suck it up- all he has done is moan and groan or spout platitudes. He has no clue. And as for Eck? He may not have had one thing to do with the bad hitting, but if you are the hitting coach and you cannot do even one thing to help, then you are accepting a paycheck under false pretenses. Davey Johnson is a shell of his former self. The players are personal friends with Eck , I am sure he is a wonderful man- but in baseball that is how it goes. All the time.

  18. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Yeah, swami, I don't think Davey and Rizzo are "personal friends." Interesting. I searched in vain for Werth's comment on Eck. Saw LaRoche (who said a bunch of stuff, but also said, "It had to be done." Got that on Twitter, thought it was a little enigmatic. LaRoche said he doesn't use a hitting coach much–and why should he, with that elegant swing?) Saw Desi, RZimm, Ramos, even Harper.

  19. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    SwamiA shell of his former self, indeed. If there were a managerial walk on song, he should ask Werth to borrow from his old repertoire – "Dazed and Confused."

  20. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Dave's has a long history of not playing nicely with his GM. He has worn out his welcome pretty quickly. Once you have heard all the funny stories, it gets old.

  21. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I wasn't on the road yesterday but had read the Eckstein news just before heading to a doctor's appointment. My doctor was running late, so I ran late, and my evening schedule got seriously out of whack. I think I read the Braun news in the evening. I wish Eck nothing but the best. Braun? Not so much. I thought his apology was pretty lame. He owes that collector dude an apology, and the clean players (yeah, I still believe that there are some). Anyhoo, off to another doctor's appointment in a bit. Hope they're not running late today.(I really don't care about royal babies. I mean, I like babies and all, but imho commoner babies are just as swell. Your mileage may vary.)

  22. natsfan1a - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Oh, and I didn't see most of the game. Did see the late rally attempt. Then I went to bed. :-)

  23. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Sis coming in to BWI. Flight already an hour late, with her stuck in Minneapolis–well, in the airport there… We'll be going Friday (night game at least, maybe both if she can stand it), Sat and Sun.

  24. Tcostant - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Game 100 tonight. No more, their plenty of time comments allowed…

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    baseballswami said… Dave's has a long history of not playing nicely with his GM.No, mostly he's had problems with ownders. But Davey's had the misfortune of managing in some awful regimes.He managed the Reds when Marge Schott owned them. He managed the Orioles under Angelos and got fired on the day he won his first Manager of the Year award.I'll take Davey's side against Schott and Angelos on any day of the year.

  26. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I wish Eck nothing but the best. Braun? Not so much. I thought his apology was pretty lame.Even worse: Braun's 2012 assertion that he'd bet his life that the charges were false.

  27. jeffwx - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    mwell said, WonkMNF, having trouble sleeping too.Met someone who said the blue light on our pc and tvare preventing people from sleeping well.Conference at NiH this week on it.Maybe C&D and no in-game blogging is the way to go.See you on the radio

  28. dabassguy1 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    While not the best rock and roll show I have ever seen, the Sir Paul at Nats park show I saw on the 7/12 deserves a mention here. It's the only time I have made it to the park this season. The Nats have never won while I was in attendance, so this is my most positive Nats park experience yet. Bet, Robert Plant brought it, tho.

  29. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Yes Swami…bottom line, if youre the hitting coach and the hitters have been stinking ALL year, you get fired, the same as a pitching coach who's team has the highest era in the league. FP had a good take on it, basically saying that Rick Schu is a good hire cause he played in the bigs, he has stood in a major league batters box, he has struggled in the bigs, and the players are familiar with him from spring and past minor league seasons.And yes, I think it was Bos that blind sided Davey with the Art Fowler/Billy Martin comparison. Reminded me of when Czaban went after Brunell in a post game interview

  30. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I too was interested to see what Werth had to say about Eck. His silence speaks volumes

  31. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Jayb, In case you haven't noticed the players slumping during this streak are: Rendon, RZim and Desmond. You want to sent them down as well?

  32. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Wonkagree with on Agelos and Schott, no question, but, the Lerners have given Davey everything and have stayed out of his way…I 100% back the Lerners in this situation…believe me, if there was something negative with the Lerners, our friends at the wash post would be all over it…Davey has zero credibility on this situation

  33. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Here are 2 underlying question that all fans need to ask themselves, if indeed this team is laying down….Do you really think players who do not give it their all are players who can win a championship and do you want those types of people on your team?

  34. BigCat - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Maybe Schu will move Zim and Ramos closer to the plate. Also, Zim's Dick Allen bat cock is no good. He's getting older and can't catch up with the high fastball anymore. Also, his hands are too high. He has to drop them to get in the hitting zone. Too much movement.I also think Schu should be able to help Roger. Roger has too much swaying in his upper body.

  35. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    speaking of Marge Schott, I am convinced she was Limbaugh's grandma, lol

  36. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I was looking around last night and I read that the Nats' ERA+ as a team is actually not very good. I am not sure how that works out given that our park plays fairly, but I think that we all know that with the exception of Clippard and possibly Jordan Zimmerman, none of the guys has been as good as last year on the pitching staff. Obviously, the fielding has been worse and we are not good at fundamentals or getting on base. We excelled at homers last year.

  37. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    William Olast week the Nats were 5th in ERA overall in NL

  38. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    "I just hope that Gio is really telling the truth about BioGenesis."Even MLB has conceded that Gio did not even receive ANY banned substances from BioGenesis, let alone use any. Their investigation will exonerate Gio. There are lots of things to worry about. Gio is not one of them.

  39. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Looked up Span's splits. Even in his best year he slumped around June, then picked it up later. That seems to be a career pattern…although not easy to explain. This is what he has done over the last 30 days..283 /.347/.391 OBP may be a little low, but I am just not seeing the basis for all the complaints. Here is Rendon for the last 30 days..222/.279 /.413

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    This is ERA+, Mick. It adjusts upward or downward based upon the ballparks. That is why San Fran's guys tend to be overrated, although still pretty good.

  41. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    all major networks are obsessed over this baby…is he the second coming, does he sleep 10 hours and not take a crap? what is the big deal??thank God for baseballlol

  42. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Gio is pitching well. After some early season bumps, he is pitching easily as well as he did last season. A great pleasure for me to watch. He is talented AND tough.

  43. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    William ogot it!

  44. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    I don't think that Davey is having a great year but it makes me a bit uncomfortable when I read posts attacking his age or his enfeebled mind. I am not saying that such allegations are either true or untrue, but it seems a bit below the belt.

  45. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

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  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    America will not be a true global empire until we have our own proper royalty, probably one of the Jenner clan, or whomever Honey Boo Boo bears….

  47. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Nats ERA+ is 104, 6th best in the NL. The finished last year at 118, 2d best in NL (to Cincy).Pirates are tied for 2d this year in N:, at 115.

  48. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Pirates are a post season team…how far they go in post season remains to be seen, they remind me of the Nats last year

  49. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Also, I don't see walking McCutchen to get to Alvarez(!). Dan Haren was right, his problem was the walk and the HBP–two solo HRs are not the worst thing. Plus he got McCutchen the third time around.

  50. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffleras long as it is not any of the Kardashianslol

  51. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    15 runs the last two days won't help either. Honestly, we could pitch any AAA pitcher and have a better chance of winning a given game than with Haren. Notice how he does well in cavernous ballparks? If anyone thinks we still have a play-off hope, how does that work out when we have almost an automatic loss every five days?

  52. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler8 game losing streak is very possible now…also Nats have lost 10 of last 15?

  53. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    That sounded like Ladson asking the Art Fowler/Billy Martin question, not Boswell. Ladson is a NYC guy and old enough to have lived through all that Yankees drama in the 70s and 80s. Boswell doesn't come into the ballpark very often from his Annapolis lair, and he was just there on Sunday. Also, Boswell announced in his chat yesterday that he was heading off on vacation for several weeks.

  54. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

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  55. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    NLThanks for the stats re Span. For comparison, median OBP for #1 hitters this year is ~.340.And here is Harper for July:.212/.333/.333 They may have picked the wrong moment to change lead off hitters.

  56. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    The Nats have not won a game that Dan Haren has started since ……. (drum roll)May 9th against Detroit.That is not going to work. We had no chance going into the season with Dan Haren on our team. Obviously, no one was aware just how pathetic it would be, but it is clear that Dan Haren = Season Over.

  57. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Not sure who posted this last night, may have been NJ…he said Mark Lerner does not sit with Rizzo any more at home games…is there anything significant with that as far ass Rizzo's future…are the Lerners going with a new slate next year or is Rizzo back?this may be the most important move when the season ends

  58. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Bill Bender ‏@BillBender92 9m#Nationals Jayson Werth hitting .327 with 10 HRs 29 RBIs since June 1. Only player 10+ homers/better avg. in that stretch Miguel Cabrera.

  59. Water23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    What if Nelson Cruz gets suspended? Does Rizzo make a gutsy tough call and offer Werth for a anything? PTBNL? Werth is a classy guy and really has been a breath of fresh air over the least few years when the team needed it but the next four years @ $83 Million for what may amount to a 4th outfielder is a lot. It would free up a lot of money but it may be to much shock for youngsters like Harper etc?

  60. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    water23..what is the significance of Cruz suspension with Werth?

  61. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Werth has not trade….or even more important…He has Rizzo Ego protection….Rizzo never makes bad decision in his mind so he would never trade Werth. Rizzo is still holding out that Maya and Martin are better than Chapman.

  62. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Yeah, I don't like Harper leading off either, hh, but if Span is productive in the 7-hole with Desi before him and Ramos after him, it's probably workable. If you went strictly on performance you would swap Span and Harper, but, wouldn't want to upset the Kid, y'know.

  63. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    NL, A couple of points: Span is a bit of a curious hitter to me. He is not at all what I expected in that he doesn't bunt, he doesn't dunk little hits to the opposite field, he doesn't get infield hits (he's not that fast). He is a pretty much a pull hitter with no power, if his OBP isn't great he just doesn't profile as a great leadoff hitter.

  64. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Water23, I hear you, but it won't happen. Werth has a no-trade clause, he lives here, his kids are in school here, he's staying.

  65. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    JD said… Jayb, In case you haven't noticed the players slumping during this streak are: Rendon, RZim and Desmond. You want to sent them down as well?Indeed. JayB's comments are ridiculous. Not only does he suggest cutting 1/4 of the team, but he can't even name anybody to reaplace them "bring up some AA guys, they can't be worse".Sheesh. I've been critical of the past of folk who are so quick to cut or demote players without naming who would replace them — but that one really takes the cake.

  66. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    If guys can't hit in certain months, then they are useless. Stats like that are highly suspect, to begin with, but the complaint about Span is that he is not good on offense, at least not on the road and not against lefties.Since you like looking up splits, look up Span's career home and away splits, which I found on another Nats' Blog. Span has been pathetic on the road his entire career basically and much better at home. It is hard to explain but that is the way it is. He has been like a fringe All star at home and a replacement player on the road.Span's output and skill level is not worth this level of analysis. He can't hit for power at all and his speed is far from great. He can't bunt. Hopefully, Span will not be back to torment Nats fans in the future. In fairness to Rizzo, most blog guys in the Nativerse approved of acquiring him and thought it was a good move, but two years ago, Brewer fans were wondering how the Nats could let Nyjer go. Sometimes guys seem better when they are playing in another city but then when you see them every day you realize just how mediocre they are.

  67. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    JDthat is the best and most accurate analysis on span period….this is why its fair to ask, what was Rizzo thinking in terms of where span would fit?

  68. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    JD, Span DID bunt, early in the season. He quit doing it–on whose advice, you might ask. I'd have to look at his charts to see if he was this much of a pull hitter in the past. Seems like he's going for more power–again, on whose advice.

  69. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Water23, if what you say is true, why would anyone trade for a 4th OF making more than $80 MM for next four seasons?anyways, I think much better of Werth than you do.

  70. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    there is just something odd about a veteran player, batting lead off who has no homers after 99 games

  71. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    JayB saidRizzo is still holding out that Maya and Martin are better than Chapman.Hmm . . . maybe _that_ one takes the cake.

  72. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    JayB, and everyone else. Rizzo and Davie led this team to 98 wins last year which is more than this franchise has ever had. I agree that they are both not having great years (particularly Davie) but your comments are way over the top.

  73. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    historical perspective…in 1969, Senators were 48-50, they got to 50-50 at half way mark and went 36-26 the rest of the way to finish 86-76.

  74. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    NLYeah, now that they've made the change, I'm not averse to leaving Span and Harper where they are. Span is still no great thing–my real worries are about Bryce.Moving them in the first place seemed like a desperation move (Span's main troubles have been vs. lefties, but Davey moved him down in the order originally vs a RHP, and ditto yesterday). But I think desperation moves are something we're going to have to get used to.

  75. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    NL, I don't know what is wrong with going back to last year's lineup which produced (or as close to it as possible):? Werth, Harper, Zim, ALR, Desi, Rendon, Span, Ramos .

  76. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    9 PA from 2009-2012 at other than lead-off position for Span while hitting .283/.351/.381 with 72 steals. whatever mike was thinking was right.

  77. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    How in the world is Werth a 4th outfielder?He's been batting .366 since June 16. He leads the team in BA, and is just barely second only to Bryce in OBP, OPS, etc.And he hit .300 last year, too.

  78. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    almost forgot, who posted that Kroll was growing a porn mustache…that was funny…between him and Werth's beard, you could have 70's adult movie star night at the park…guess that would not go over well with kids but with perverts like myself, ha ha halol

  79. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    NL, BTW, Span's at bat against Grili last night was a thing of beauty. Makes you wander why we can't see that leading off the game instead of a little grounder to 2nd base on the 2nd or 3rd pitch.

  80. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Its hard being a lead off… But yeah JD – that was a great at bat..But NL – Im with you.. Dont care for Harper leading off (I also think he isnt quite right still – something looks a little off with him) but I do wonder if/when someone told Span to change his approach.. I swear he was always getting on base in the beginning of the season…Also, someone needs to work with Rendon… Time for him to make adjustments to the pitchers…

  81. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    mick said… there is just something odd about a veteran player, batting lead off who has no homers after 99 gamesNot at all. A lead off guy's job isn't supposed to be hitting homers.In 1969 Matty Alou played 162 games — led off — had 734 PA's, scored 105 runs, batted .331, and had 1 HR. He was an all star that year, and the year before (when he had 0 HR's).In 1985 thru 1987 when lead off man Vince Coleman was terrorizing the NL with 100+ steals each year (and almost 700 PA's each year) he had 1, 0, and 3 HR's respectively.

  82. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Here is what is almost certainly the most idiotic comment of the year:"If you went strictly on performance you would swap Span and Harper, but, wouldn't want to upset the Kid, y'know."There is ignorance and then there is total ignorance when you have people on here defending Span, almost certainly the worst lead-off hitter in baseball, a guy who can't even be bothered to run out balls half the time. If you went on performance, Span would hit 8th and he would only play at home, against right handers. bench as to be invisible.It is funny how these ignorant Span supporters want to compare his July or last 2 weeks or last 2 days against Harper, but maybe compare the two's hitting over the the last two years? Nah, Span is just slow to heat up, you see.

  83. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    but I do wonder if/when someone told Span to change his approach.. I swear he was always getting on base in the beginning of the season…The thing that's odd is that Span is hitting righties as well as — or better — than he has his whole career.He's hitting lefties, however, at more than .100 lower than his lifetime average.Very curious.

  84. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Good stat Wonk… My dad was a V Coleman fan… So I have heard his name a time or two…Sometimes I think the whole HR thing with the lead off is over blown… They are supposed to get on base.. and certainly Span needs to improve on that…

  85. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Yeah Wonk… Home and against RHPs – sure thing, almostBut away and against LHPs – hide your kids and your wife!It is strange…

  86. JD - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    WODLSpan, almost certainly the worst lead-off hitter in baseball, a guy who can't even be bothered to run out balls half the time. 'Based on what? your opinion?

  87. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Span was getting on base early in the season. It is called a small sample. He has no power and his obs+ is terrible, below replacement level. His stolen bases stats are bad. His sacrifices have been pathetic. His speed is mediocre, but it is just bad luck or the hitting coach, I guess. Maybe they had the same hitting coaches in Minnesota the last 4 years because he went down every year. The guy has never even sniffed an All Star game. It only makes it more pathetic when we have ignorant people come on here and claim that he is our solution as a lead-off hitter.Werth was far better at that than Span will every be, as is everyone on the team, save Ramos.

  88. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  89. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Span's at bat was not exactly like Johnny Damon's at bat in the 2009 WS…that was a thing of beauty

  90. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    WODL, we get it. You don't like Span. I know you're never going to stop telling us that, but could you at least please give the personal insults a rest?

  91. Water23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Mick,Cruz suspension would be an opportunity. The Rangers are going for it and losing Cruz for the rest of the year would open a place for Werth. In addition, Cruz is a free agent after this season. Signing a player with great stats but a PED user to a big contract may be foolish. Whereas a decent gamble that you get two+ years out of Werth in the OF and then move him to DH may be worth it. He is a high character players who has performed well over his career but is going to be overpaid in the NL by the end of his contract.Faraz, I, too, like Werth and this year he is performing well and may as well next year but the law of diminishing returns sans PEDs tends to say older players fade. The Rangers are in the hunt are aggressive. Losing a top OF for the season will severely impair their chances. Jumping on that opportunity would make the Nats better in the long run. And there will be a lot of players available in the next four years that can be signed/re-signed for the $80 Million.NatsLady,I know but you can hope. I really like all that Werth has brought to the table but I am concerned about his injuries over the last few years.

  92. NatsLady - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I'm sorry, but I think it WOULD upset the kid to suddenly be hitting 7th in the order. You can like it or not like it, but he's young and those things are more important to him than they probably should be. He asked to hit lead-off. I'd leave him there for now, but I would bear that in mind, if his power comes back he should be lower. As for Span, I don't know what's with him not hitting lefties, but he had started taking walks again in the lead-off spot (just before Davey took him out of it). If he could hit lefties even at .240 it would be great.

  93. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    wonkinteresting stat…I remember Matt Alou well. My guess is that Rizzo assumed that there would power after Span, maybe that is why his no homers stand out now. speaking of Alou, he was base stealer, not something we are getting from Span

  94. greg - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    "You can't expect to drive that run in every time."right now, we can't expect the nats to drive it in *any* time. "'There's great character on this ballclub,' Johnson said."let me know when they're great hitters. character isn't driving in any runs. *sigh*

  95. mick - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    wtaer23…very interesting…Rizzo has to consider it…look I like werth but let's be honest, injuries are not going away as he gets older, now would be the time to deal him if any

  96. hiramhover - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Water23Others have pointed out why Werth is unlikely to move. I'll add this–according to last week's reports, the Biogensis 15 (or however many we're up) should be able to play out the season by tying up their suspension in the appeals process.Braun's "bravery" consisted only of declining to do so in a season when the Brewer's won't contend anyway (and when he's making less money than he will next year, so the suspension will cost him less).

  97. bowdenball - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    William O. Douglas Loeffler said…"Maybe they had the same hitting coaches in Minnesota the last 4 years because he went down every year."Span's slash lines for his last three seasons in Minnesota:2010: .264/.331/.3482011: .264/.329/.3592012: .283/.342/.395You don't even bother to get the facts right. If you're making up outright lies about Span, it says a lot about how much value we should give your subjective opinions about him.

  98. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    I like Werth.. Hope we dont move him… He brings a lot of vet presence to the club…

  99. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Just like everyone else, I'd love to see Denard Span batting .350 with a .410 OBP and mixing in some HRs with his singles, walks, and doubles. But what's realistic (or average) for a lead-off hitter? For a center fielder?For comparison, Span's splits so far this season are: .262/.319/.357.The NL average for lead-off hitters is: .266/.331/.391.The NL average for CFs is: .257/.322/.396.This means that Mr. Span and the average CF are getting 26 hits in every 100 ABs, while the average lead-off hitter gets 27 per 100 ABs.Similarly, Mr. Span and the average CF are getting on base 32 times out of 100 PAs, while the average lead-off hitter is getting on base 33 times out of 100 PAs.The slugging numbers suggest that both the average lead-off hitter and average CF are getting 3.5 to 4 additional bases per 100 ABs than Mr. Span, which is where that missing HR or two would help.Is Mr. Span an all-star? Of course not. But he's not a replacement-level player either. He's pretty darn close to a league average player in his position(s), but with much better than average defense (you can compare those numbers on either baseball-reference.com or fangraphs. com).

  100. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    The Point Wonk is that it does not matter who they bring up from AA….reward them…that is the point…and replacing those dead end bats costs nothing….Roger, Chad, Hairston, Lombo, Storen, types are worth nothing to this team. Team is not going anywhere this year with Davey phoning it in from Bora Bora every night. At least get something from the bench…..even if it is good will of farm hands.

  101. Joe Seamhead - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    The guy calling other people "baseball ignorant" just the other night said Rizzo should have signed Upton instead of Span.

  102. Water23 - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Hiram,I like "Biogensis 15" even if it turn out there are more players involved. I agree that Braun took the deal as it worked out better for him now. But, many reporters have been mentioning that it is now looking more likely that with the amount of evidence that MLB now has in its possession that the suspected players will be looking to make a deals instead of pursuing the appeals process. In fact, your very good analysis would tend to hold true for many, especially those like Cruz who will be FAs next year. If, Cruz fights it and goes through the appeals process, he collects the meager Arbitration salary what is left over on $10+ Million and then is a FA with a PED appeal on-going. In the Winter, if he is found innocent, he will be tainted by the scandal and GM's will wonder whether his production will continue especially as he will be 33 next year. And, if he is found guilty then he will be suspended for x games plus all the same concerns and The new team will have to take the penalty whereas the Rangers reaped the benefits of his PED use. That seems to make a strong argument for taking your medicine and moving forward with a clean slate next year.

  103. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Having watched baseball for years, I am amazed at how much softer Davey has become. It's like he is the lenient grand pop now instead of the parent. He needed Rizzo to step in on Espi and now the hitting " statement" and he is pouting. He really needs to stop it. The last thing this team needs is for him to whine and second guess the GM. I am glad they brought someone in that the guys know- he coached a lot of them before and they have usually come to us doing well. Or regained something by going down. He also knows the personality and team politics dynamics. I am hoping the notebook is gone during games and they pay more attention to what the pitcher is doing to them, and adjust during the game. No more pouring and sulking! Suck it up and play!

  104. SCNatsFan - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    It is not too difficult; if we win the next 10 Davey and Rizzo are geniuses, if we lose they are living on last years results. Like Rizzo said, it is a performance based league but you can't take one game, or one season, as a complete body of work independant of prior success.

  105. Unknown - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    JayB's suggestion of making Jason Werth a playing manager is extremely interesting. That thought had crossed my mind a few days ago. Former catchers make good managers, and Werth is a former catcher with the Orioles system. I suspect he has a better chance of turning around this team than Davey does.

  106. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    It is there only chance in my view….it could crash and burn spectacularly (20% chance) or it could be the start of a playoff run (20% chance) but either way it is there best hope and it gets you 40% chance of being must see baseball the rest of the way. That is a Win Win.

  107. baseballswami - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I am not a person who absolutely needs the postseason. I like to watch good, competitive baseball, win or lose. If the Nats pull it together and play well, I will consider the season salvaged. All moves that are made need to be good for the long term . All difficulties need to lead to lessons learned. All adversity needs to lead to toughness. Maybe there are some dues that need to be paid right now, some developmental steps that were skipped. It's not the things that happen to you or the mistakes made that are the end of the story- it's how you react and dig out of the sh#*t storm that tell the story. In life and in baseball.

  108. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    swami…I can agree with that approach. The problem is Davey is not teaching them anything by mopping and whining about Eck and bad luck. He is just too old and lost. They need a teacher who will give them that touch love approach they need to learn form this….as you called it….S storm.

  109. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    tough love….that other one is creepy

  110. JayB - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Davey's big problem other than age is he gave them all the candy in spring training and he has nothing to motivate them with. He said they were winning, he said they were the best team, he said he loves them all, and that they all are good to go without ever proving themselves this year. He has nothing left in the bag of tricks and he knows it. He is done!

  111. A DC Wonk - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    new post . . .

  112. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 23, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    A hitting approach problem too many Nats have is swinging for the fences when a single will do.Werth's home run swing is not that hard. He lets tge pitcher do the work.That is better hitting. Others should try it.

  113. BJ@OC - Jul 23, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I've been discouraged since watching Harper, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, game tied, look at three strikes. Never swung in the AB!No second-coming of Mickey Mantle here.I don't blame Rizzo for firing the hitting coach. Someone is coaching these guys to look at a lot of strikes. The amount of praise given to batters today for forcing a pitcher to make a dozen pitches before they strike out is ridiculous. Hit the efffing ball!

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