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Free-falling

Jul 24, 2013, 3:57 AM EDT

Associated Press

The Nationals want to believe this will turn around, they really do. They want to believe they’ve been the victim of bad luck, so much bad luck that the cosmos are bound to repay them one of these days.

“I think at some point, the tide’s got to turn,” Jayson Werth said. “The luck’s got to swing in our favor. And hopefully when it does, we can grab hold of it and run with it.”

That may or may not be true, but the following statements absolutely are true in the wake of Tuesday night’s 5-1 loss to the Pirates:

— The Nationals have lost five straight games and 10 of 12.

— The Nationals are four games under .500, their lowest point since September 2011.

— The Nationals, at this moment, have more losses this season (52) than the Royals and Angels, the same number of losses as the Mets and Mariners and only one fewer loss than the Cubs.
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131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ivan Tuski - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    fuuuuuuuuuudge

  2. SonnyG10 - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Well, I'm glad Jayson still believes in his guys. Its getting kinda hard to keep the faith myself.

  3. Coolhandbane (formally Bob Saget) - Jul 24, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    I am speechless. I just dont get how a team with as much talent as they have can suck offensively, mentally and fundamentally as the nationals have been all season thus far?Who is to blame? The players for not living up to their expectations?Lady luck for not being in the Nationals favor?Well I think it ultimately blames Davey. It started with "World Series or bust". Then the relaxing Spring Training when they should have been working on fundamentals, on stuff they could have improved on from last season. Maybe Davey is getting old. He doesnt seem like he is making the right decisions during the games.Unless the play .650 ball for the rest of the season, this season will be a bust. They need a whole new staff next year with a new experienced manager.

  4. jay12 - Jul 24, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    Cut Adam Laroche. Move Zimmerman to First Base. Move Rendon to Third Base. Sign Robinson Cano in the Winter… it will obviously cost more money and maybe some defense but having a bat like Cano's in the lineup would be insane. And you aren't losing a lefty bat presence since Adam LaRoche and Cano are both left-handed

  5. John - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Jay12, you nailed it. I was thinking they should move Zim to 1st now since he has no arm. Also, I'd trade Werth right now. Sell high and get a real power hitter. Trade him and Span and see what you get. Cano would be so awesome. That is exactly who the Nats need.

  6. John - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Jacoby Ellisbury is a Scott Boras client. He'll also be a free agent in 2014.

  7. Secret wasian man - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    I get more mad every day at this team. Guys like Desmond, Zimmerman, ALR, Span who are supposed to lead. And they do Nothing.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Garza and Kuroda as 4 and 5 would be nice. We can get Lincecum as one of RH relief options while Maholm can be our LH long reliever like Gorzo was. let's get Lind, Kubel, and Morse on the bench. I think that should set us up for 2014.

  9. Another_Sam - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I can finally say it out loud – any other club would have fired the manager by now.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I have no argument left in me to defend anybody, or anything, about the 2013 Washington Nationals.I got nothing.

  11. Another_Sam - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I'm with you, Seam.

  12. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Seamhead – you can continue to defend, seriously. They are not playing well but you have always been one of those I enjoy reading. We won't reach the goals you and I and many others had hoped for but they are still our team.I wonder if those who really know baseball (I am not including myself in that catagory), understand that Werth has a no-trade clause in his contract? I wonder if those who really know baseball understand how many errors LaRoche has already saved the worst defensive team in baseball? This is not football. Those contracts are guaranteed, while Haren is not helping in any way shape or form, that is still 13 million dollars out there that the Lerners expect something back for. You might send him to the bullpen and yes, you might cut Haren but you surely are not going to cut LaRoche with another year on his contract. Just stop with the foolishness. As much as we all at times want to blow the whole team up, its not happening.

  13. jeeves - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    The Marlins would give up Stanton for Met's Harvey. How about Strasburg? I would make that trade–a younger everyday position player for a top notch pitcher. How about an outfield of Stanton in right, Harp in center, and Werth in left?

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    sjm308… I limit my posts to the bare minimum anymore as the silliness that gets posted by the Native American crowd is totally laughable.Bad teams go on mini rolls and play great baseball for a week or so. Heck, I once saw Shairon Martis pitch a complete game against the Cardinals. The Nats are not going to blow this team up. And their minor league system is not bereft of talent. There are no less than a half dozen or so everyday players that will advance to major league rosters within 2 years and no less than 8 pitchers that will pitch for major league clubs in the same time span.I do believe that the Rizzo contract issue is playing into this. Since the Lerners have invoked the 2014 option, Mike has made it known that he expects an extension with a substantial raise. The Lerners hold another option for 2015 and DO NOT tear up existing contracts. One is expected to fullfill one obligation before another one goes into effect. See Ryan Zimmerman as an example. (Oh yes, that Riggleman example, as well).I believe the Lerners want to see progress and this season sure isn't helping matters. Plus, I believe, the hiring of the next manager will put the oranization in a position to show their true relationship with each other. Will the Lerners and Rizzo be on the same page?In the meantime, I will enjoy the game I love, win or lose.

  15. Gonat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    SonnyG10 said… Well, I'm glad Jayson still believes in his guys. Its getting kinda hard to keep the faith myself. July 24, 2013 12:19 AM ________________________________As long as the Braves keep losing there is still a chance with 62 games left. Go on a run like the Tampa Bay Rays and you are right back in it.I'm just waiting for this team to wake up along with Davey.

  16. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    If there is a glimmer of hope, it would be that this is the low point of the season and the team can only go up. However, I think things may get worse. If Nats lose out this home stand, Davey will step down I am sure.

  17. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I honestly think Davey is burned out..it happens

  18. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    AMEN NatsJack, I too,limit my posts for those same reasons.While this team is struggling (and yes I am as frustrated as the rest of you), I feel like the fan base needs to grow a pair as well. Did the Baseball Gods promise us that this would all be sunshine and roses? No.We got a taste of success last year and that has turned some into Yanks/Phillies fans. I love how some are saying the guys aren't trying, that they don't care, that they are just collecting a paycheck. Really? I don't see that, I see them trying to hard, tense as all get out. If this season isn't meant to be, so be it, I will enjoy the time we have left win or lose.

  19. Gonat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Secret wasian man said… I get more mad every day at this team. Guys like Desmond, Zimmerman, ALR, Span who are supposed to lead. And they do Nothing. July 24, 2013 4:59 AM _______________________________Desmond is a team leader and you can see it on the field and the dugout. Span is new to the team and I wouldn't expect him to be.Now on Ryan Zimmerman, have you heard his MASN commercial? He says it himself: He leads by example. Ryan was the go to guy for years for the media to get sound bites. Nobody goes to him much any more. OTOH, Werth stood up to the microphones last night and gave a good interview. He's leading by example.

  20. Gonat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    jay12 said… Cut Adam Laroche. Move Zimmerman to First Base. Move Rendon to Third Base. Sign Robinson Cano in the Winter…___________________________________They won't cut LaRoche. Trading him will have to include cash. Doubtful they can get Cano.In theory, moving Ryan Zimmerman to 1st is needed based on the fielding metrics but keep in mind, Ryan won't move without a fight.The answer could be to move Zim to 1st and pickup the best 2nd baseman you can or the best 3rd baseman you can as Rendon can clearly play both positions.

  21. Gonat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… sjm308… I limit my posts to the bare minimum anymore as the silliness that gets posted by the Native American crowd is totally laughable.____________________________________I've made 7 posts this month. Make that 8 posts once I hit the publish button.If you think these posters are like the R'Skins, I think it's worse because football is 16 games and this is 162. Living and dying on every game is ridiculous.The Nats are still in this because the Braves have been almost as bad. A swing of 8 games is all that seperates the team.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    From Nationals Prospects: "Corey Brown’s three-run homer off former National Zach Duke capped a four-run rally in the 8th for a 6-1 Syracuse lead."How do you like that for a taste of irony!

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Gonat……it's "The Danny's Team" people that post the majority of the stupidity on this site….Them and the usual suspects.Ghost…..yes, I saw that earlier this morning and thought it was funny. Maybe next year about now we'll see a Syracuse home run by Carlos Rivero off Dan Haren who'll be pitching for Toronto's AAA affiliate.

  24. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    sjm – I hope the Nats dont blow the team up… Should they make a few additions/changes in the offseason… sure… I dont think people understand the value that players like Jayson bring to the team… Adam saves our hides time and time again at 1st base.. I fear for when he leaves… Although throws from Ryan, Desi, Espi, and Rendon have gotten better, Adam has played some spectacular 1st base and has done some impossible things sometimes….

  25. Mr. Doggett - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The most frustrated fans are the ones who just jumped on last year. No matter how bad the record ends up, this is still the second best group of players we have ever had. This thing is built for the long haul. Relax, have a summer themed beverage, and chuckle at the newbies squirming and whining.We are in the conversation now at least.

  26. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    NJ/GoNat – You gotta remember a lot of Nats fans are new to baseball… So they think with the same urgency that a lot of football fans think with…But a lot of folks apparently live and die with 1 game too… Have a we seen a stretch of bad baseball by the Nats – we sure enough have… I remember last year in August/September (cant remember which month) that we had that 5 game losing streak and I remember folks going ape shti crazy… I kept telling them to relax… we got this… But a lot of it is not understanding…

  27. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I was hoping that C Brown would get his opportunity to come up for a few games… Is Kobernus still here?My only concern, though, is if we bring him up, will he languish on the bench thus missing his 'hot time'…Zach Duke – The irony….

  28. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Yeah Mr. Doggett – I remember 2008/2009 (which I admittedly cried after both seasons) becuz I was so livid…Some of the folks we had here… Unh unh unh… group that we have now is 1000 x better… they are just vastly underperforming… Not sure why.. but i hope they right the ship soon…We have like 8/9 more games with the Braves right? That is the swing right there… also winning against the others…So hopefully we can get this nasty taste out of our mouths and win tonight and go for the split…

  29. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    In other news – anyone have an update on C Garcia? I had high hopes for him…

  30. blovy8 - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    It stinks for this year, but there should be some adjustment in the plan for the next two months at this point. Getting Mattheus back will help the bullpen depth for a possible move, but in this next week, there will be actual contenders asking about many Nats players. I don't expect one, but if any trade happens now, it should be more about 2014 than 2013. I would feel more optimistic about a surge if there were a decent stretch of games at any point previously where they were playing well in all facets. If they were more in a Yankees/Red Sox situation, at least there would be a chance a regression from the top team. It's more likely that the Braves play better than the Nats, and even if the Nats actually have the more talented roster, the lead is too big unless 2011 happens to the Braves again. Even with an under-performing club, there are always things going on that are useful for development. Rendon is getting major league at bats, Ramos is putting together a decent hitting season, Jordan is getting more confidence as a viable ML starter, and there will be playing time for deserving prospects to see what they can do. I feel like it's probably next year when LaRoche would go, and Zim can be eased into the idea of transitioning over to that spot with actual reps at the position, rather than just knee-jerking him over there like it's no adjustment at all. Even if someone gave enough to the Nats to trade ALR (unless it's a 1B), Tracy and Marrero would probably play there the rest of this season.

  31. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Of course you do not blow up a team who has a strong core of starting pitchers. The red sox did not do that after 2012. However, after you designate these pitchers ass untouchables, as they should be, you look at what players can give the team value in a trade as well as lower your payroll which allows for 1-2 free agent signings if necessary.If I were Rizzo, I have to seriously consider trading Soriano to a contending AL team in return for prospects. If Espinoza was not so bad and such a head case one could have envisioned a scenario where RZim is moved to first, Rendon back to 3rd and ALR traded for prospects, however, the team really needs ALR in 2014. I would not plat Det the rest of season and would let him heal and spend the off season with a new trainer and conditioning coach. I see the rotation in 2014 as Stras, Gio, Zim, Det and Jordan.I would unload Haren, yesterday too for any prospect. The hitting issue will not be resolved until next year. so, grin and bare it

  32. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Now is the time to sell and bring up some prospect from Cuse and let them play at this level. By doing this, it gives them experience going into next season. Jayson Werth is playing like an All star, I wish it were certain that he would not miss 50 games a year. this is where it gets complicated with Werth's future. Do you trade him now? Or do you see him as player that you know is not full time yet has great value.. these are serious questions

  33. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    I don't post during games anymore, even though I have always enjoyed having virtual friends to watch games with. The venom is just toxic. Mornings are better. This season is disappointing to be sure. Almost comically tragic at times( like now?). I absolutely believe these are very talented players and the team should not be blown up. But I also believe that some of this is happening for a long term reason. One if them is that our boys need the adversity- I wish they didn't , but last fall proved they weren't tough enough. There were also basic changes in this team that needed to happen that only happened because of the failures. And- as much as you don't want to face it, this season is going to make things so very much easier for our new, long term manager for the future of this team. Had we had another magical season, no one would have wanted a new guy or listened to anything he said. Now , everyone knows we need one desperately. Folks, we were doing better with Riggs and the rag tag band of misfits. He wasn't as like able, but he wasn't so soft. Davey has been checked out since Espi failed him. Now he sees that the team and Rizzo have failed him- it's about him and his disappointments. Sorry- but some of this stuff just has to be tolerated and gotten through before the team can have the future we want.

  34. 3on2out - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Maybe this is a better time to post. The Chicken Littles with their "blow up the team," "fire Rizzo," "fire Davey," "move Zimmerman to first," "sign Cano," "trade Strasburg," are here, of course, but they are more prevalent during the evening hours. Perhaps their keyboards are more lubricated? Regardless, a word of appreciation for the Legion of Sanity. There are many but Nats Jack, SonnyG10, sjm308, and MicheleS are a few that posted this morning. To all of the Legion of Sanity, I say: Thank you.

  35. Ishmael - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I'd consider trading Clippard. He's pitching wonderfully, but who knows how much longer he'll be effective. I think you could get some good prospects for him. I'd also consider trading Soriano and Storen, but think you'd get less.

  36. JamesFan - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Something is seriously wrong with this team that we do not see. This is way beyond a slump. The errors, the regression of hitters, the failure in the clutch….it never seems to end.For one thing, LaRoche looks sick. He is skin and bones.Why are these guys so lifeless on the field. Is it Davey? Have they lost confidence in him?Is it clubhouse conflict? Who really knows what goes on in there?Is it conflict between the front office and DJ? My guess is that there have been several wars over Espinoza's demotion and the firing of Eck.Is it Zimmerman's obvious defensive problems? We have no idea what is really going on with him.There is a big story here that has not been discovered yet. This is not just one of those down periods in a baseball season. Something big is wrong here.

  37. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    There are no prospects at Syracuse. Any future help for the Nats are in Harrisburg or Potomac.

  38. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Here is another question in terms of philosophy…does the next manager play long ball like Davey, or does he play to manufacture runs, does he emphasize holding runners on base and does he play the speed game? The new manager needs to determine this and see if this core can play that style. If he believes in speed, then the Nats need to find a fast footed lead off batter once again because clearly Span is not that guy.

  39. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    NJ. OK I was not sure if it was Cuse, Pot or Harrisburg

  40. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Swami said – 'One if them is that our boys need the adversity'====LOL… Back in April/May, I said to some Nats fans on the WaPo blog that not only do the Nats need to understand that what they are going thru is adveristy but the fan base does as well… People didnt get what I was saying.. I had to remind them of the Nats history and becuz we had 1 good season, now that we have joined the upper echelon, we have a target on our back… nats never knew how that felt… They are playing like they still dont, although the failed comeback on Monday was great to see…But that is what this is – adversity.. so lets see how they respond… Fans too…

  41. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    3on2outso just to be clear, when fans suggest moving RZim to 1b, or other ideas that even MASN, ESPN or MLB analysts suggest you deem them LOD and chicken littles? It seems your only post in here to attack other posters. how sanctimonious.

  42. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I too am thankful for the sanity of this morning's posters. The day threads are usually still enlightening and tolerable; the game threads are indeed toxic.Hard to see them giving up Clip when he's the best in the BP and under team control for 2 more years. I did see Storen's name appear on Jayson Stark's list on trade rumors (he didn't claim the Nats are actively shopping him, but said other teams believed the Nats might listen). But I wouldn't expect a great haul.As for my own outlook for the rest of the season: I said after the ASG that if the Nats were going to make a serious run they needed to show us what they had against some contenders in the Dodgers and Pirates. Now, we've seen. The playoffs ain't happening this year, but it's a 162 game season, and neither the players nor fans can live for the post-season (those MLB ads notwithstanding). But I do want to see some well played games over the next 2 months–better played, win or lose, than these last 6.

  43. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Who are all of these players in the minors that are going to be helping out this team in the future? I can see 4-5 pitchers making a contribution, but no offensive talent to speak of according to everybody else in baseball.

  44. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    MickZim is going to get moved to 1B, but not now.

  45. jeffwx - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    the yanks were 13 games out on aug 1 1978

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    NatsJack at 8:33,. Truth. Eury Perez is my top rated guy in AAA. What does that tell you.

  47. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Davey sure didn't sound burned out this morning talking with the Junkies on 106.7. They asked the same question that Ladson/Boswell tried to ask at the end of the Monday night press conference (but not with the bizarre Ladson/Boswell Steinbrenner analogy) and he answered it frankly. He's not coming back next year and he's not quitting this year. He didn't say it, but he could have. No doubt about it.

  48. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    HHI agree not now, I am only echoing what so many are saying down the road and it does make sense. My point was it is shame Espi could not come through because Rendon could go back to 3d when such a move is made

  49. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    NatsJack/Ghost – Have you all heard anything on C Garcia?

  50. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Ah- some nice, reasonable thoughts here. I have been a baseball fan all my life and unfortunately seasons like this have been more the norm than last season! I am not generally a conspiracy theorist, but it does sometimes seem that at some point an opposing pitcher will have an OFF night against us or that the OTHER team will have a tough night at the plate or in the field. I hate begging for charity, but it does seem that theses teams are at their very best against us, or at their hottest against us. Paranoid, but maybe not?

  51. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Ghostcan Perez be that lead off guy if the team goes with speed? thoughts?

  52. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Maybe we just need a series against the Brewers? :)

  53. jeffwx - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    the cards were 6 games out on sept.12, 1964but they did not have the curse of the beast.bad karma

  54. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    swami…your right, Nats have a bulls eye on their backs going into this season, that goes with being a 98 win club

  55. m - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I understand that if we win the next 20 out of 30 we will be back in it but that is meaningless when you look at how this team is playing. The only consistent thing with this team has been its excuses. This team should be compared to the 2011 team and not the 2012 edition. If people are being honest they will admit that 2012 was an outlier. One last thing can we please stop berating those people that criticize the team instead of blinding supporting the team. I much rather read an objective assessment on them instead of an assessment that has no bearing on reality.

  56. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    jeffwx…what made that so nice was that it was the Phillies that blew it

  57. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    m amen to that

  58. jeffwx - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Thank you M!There are youngsters on this blog just trying to learn the game….and we have crusty old men putting them downGrow up!

  59. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    jeffwxBucky Dent ha ha I felt bad for Yaz though, his last at bat ever was the game ending pop up

  60. jeffwx - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Mick, I went nuts when Dent hit that hr. Didn't realize that was his last ab.

  61. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    yikes..I wrong Yaz retired in 83…that was last post season at batlosing my mind

  63. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Ryan was the go to guy for years for the media to get sound bites. Nobody goes to him much any more. OTOH, Werth stood up to the microphones last night and gave a good interview. He's leading by example.For years Zimmerman was the only guy they could go to. No one knew who any of the other guys were. Now they have lots of guys they can go to, including Werth, Harper, Desi, Strasburg, Gio, even LaRoche. But the media travels in a pack after the games. They go to Davey's presser, then they go to the lockers to talk to guys one by one. Most nights they're only going to get to one guy, maybe two before the clubhouse clears out. They have a better chance of getting to more guys on the road because Davey doesn't talk in an interview room like he does at Nats Park and the players all have to wait around to leave together on the bus to the hotel. So Werth wasn't being more of a stand-up guy than the others last night. He was just the guy that the media pack got to first after Davey was done.

  64. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    jack…..what a howl…this is because Rizzo is mad he is not getting a raise…..that is really your self proclaimed baseball expert view point?This happened because Davey got too old fast and has lost his mental skills….now instead of being a manager he is a granddad who spoils the grand kids and then goes and takes a nap while the sugar meltdown happens.This happened because Rizzo and Davey have egos that will not allow them to reflect and admit mistakes. Rizzo wants a raise but can not understand why Lerners are saying prove it? Rizzo is still in love with Hairston from AZ days….what a joke!Njack your evaluations is what….they worked too hard in Spring training on holding runners, bunting and defense?

  65. karlkolchak - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    hiramhover – "Hard to see them giving up Clip when he's the best in the BP and under team control for 2 more years."Then exactly how do you expect the team to make any trades that are worthwhile? Face it, Clip is our best trading chip not counting the guys who ought to be off limits (Harper, Stras, etc) or whose contracts are too big to move for anything worthwhile (RZimm, Werth). One of the Nats' biggest problems this year was the organization's thin talent base. Trading Clip for a legit prospect (ala Capps for Ramos) helps with that. His trade value will never be higher than it is right now, plus he is getting very expensive in his arbitration years.It continues to amaze me how many proposals are made around here to dump our underperformers via trade when that will just deplete the talent base further without bringing back a good return. In the trading game, you gotta pay to play, in other words you have to trade players who are actually good.

  66. mick - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    ha ha got the cure for Nats hitting problem…I saw an old Dennis the Menace episode where Mr Wilson is coaching Dennis' baseball team. this is a classic.. Dennis' team is down something like 10 runs late in the game. Mr Wilson comes up with the idea "boys, think of the one person you would like to hit with the bat and pretend the ball is that person" Of course the team comes back and wins and Dennis has the winning hit as he is saying to himself as the ball is pitched "dumb old Margaret"off to work now

  67. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Mick- the speed concept is interesting to me. When we got Span I wondered if we would start to use that part of the game. We have had some speed on the team, but it's generally a tool we don't use. Why not? Shouldn't we use every tool? Same thing with holding runners. We knew it was an issue last year. Shouldn't we have patched that up? Seems like we completely ignore stealing offensively and defensively. Seasons like this maybe it's time to get out of all the old game plan and try some other tools. I really feel that the Nats are stuck in some ways that don't work for them.

  68. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Then exactly how do you expect the team to make any trades that are worthwhile?That's easy–for the moment (meaning before the season ends), I *don't* expect the team to make any trades that are worthwhile.

  69. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    swami…you guys are killing me…."I really feel that the Nats are stuck in some ways that don't work for them."Really….after all this, after all the belittling of people who called for change months ago….NOW you drop stuff like that and post how wrong everyone has been and that people who want change don't know baseball and are not true fans….true fans must suffer…..no they do not…the bar is not the Senators or Cubs.

  70. Candide - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Thinking out loud here…At the beginning of the season, we kept hearing about what a solid lineup this was, no soft spots 1-8.And yet, they haven't hit, all season, healthy or injured.I'm not in the "It's all Eckstein's fault" parade, but there's something I've been wondering about for a few weeks.The word on the street is that the Nats are a team of good fastball hitters. Well, if I know that, it stands to reason the rest of the league knows that, too.I'm no student of pitch charts, but is it possible that pitching coaches are telling their guys, "When you give them your fastball, keep it just off the plate, or throw it in a totally unexpected count, or throw it when the count's 3-0 since they're not swinging anyway. Rest of the time, give them whatever slop you have. They can't hit slop, but it never stops them from trying."Thoughts?

  71. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Candide- there is definitely merit in that line of thought. I think the hitters have been going to the plate with a scouting report about what the pitcher does to hitters in general. It's all about the pitcher. What I see is that they should go to the plate with a scouting report on themselves as hitters. What are their own tendencies and weaknesses? Then maybe they would see what the pitcher might do to them, individually, not just a generic hitter. But everyone in the organization basically announces that they love fastballs and will be aggressive. So there you go. Give me a good ten pitch battle with lots of foul balls any day. You might walk, you might get a hit, you might get out- but at least you have made that pitcher work! Let's face it- most of our guys are not tough outs. They also don't seem to be able to use outs to move runners or get one in. Home runs are sexy, but depending on them is frustrating.

  72. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Just wondering if there are chevrons or a neat hat or anything else for the Legion of Sanity I just got nominated for? Seriously, I can criticize how poorly we field, I can criticize how poorly we hold runners, I can criticize our lack of bunting skills (woops – unknow just ran to the bathroom), and I will do so but I will not call for Davey to resign or for us to run out and make silly moves in the middle of the season. This is our team, this is a baseball season and we will get through it. I can't see moving Zimmerman to first until LaRoche is not here anymore and I just don't see them moving LaRoche. Of course I can be wrong but some of you just type things thinking its easy to switch positions after playing 3rd base for 20 some years. Guess what? Its not easy and he might not be the answer at first. I am not saying they might not experiment but they certainly won't do it in the middle of the year. Mick – Davey Johnson will not resign. I just can't see him doing that.Go Nats!!

  73. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    yea carry on with your incredible obvious discussion of hitting approaches like it is new research. The problem with this site these days is not the LOD or Redskins types…it is the good old boys and girls who spend all day complementing themselves on the their true fandom and deep insightful posts.

  74. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    That's such a great point. As someone mentioned a few days ago, the opposition team just seems to be well positioned when the Nats do put the ball in play.Generally, I think all MLB teams are fastball hitting teams. It's pitch sequence and location that dictate much of the time. By studying the oppositions tendencies and, as you say, their own, can't hurt. While I guess you can over-think hitting, in this day with all the technological information available, you really can't afford not to prior to the game. I just can't imagine that they're not doing that now, but maybe not.

  75. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    JayB – I do often compliment you on your fandom. I just don't understand why you have to look at things in such a negative stance. I am pretty sure you love baseball, pretty sure you had a smile on your face at game four, pretty sure also that you probably expect us to lose at the start of each game (unlike Manassas Fan who can't type worth a damn but goes into each game with a victory already marked down). I don't know you but I do know that when you write, its usually snark like the crap at 9:47. You want to spill out negativity, others want to spill out positivity that is why baseball is so great. Lots of opinions to go around. I just don't agree with your tack.

  76. JD - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    sjm308, You bring too much common sense to this conversation. Always a pleasure to read your posts. I will take my own advise and stop debating with JayB whose volume of posts increases exponentially every time the Nats hit a bad stretch. Talk about enjoying missery.

  77. JD - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    BTW, Your world champion San Francisco Giants are 8 games under .500, the free spending LA Angels ate 6 games under .500, the off season favorites Toronto Blue Jays are 9 games under .500. It happens.

  78. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I expected 100 wins. They have the talent. I expect them to win each day and I am only unhappy when they play poorly and lose. Look at the errors this year. The watched 3rd strikes. The stupid Davey moves. The Daily Danny disaster. The Drew meltdowns, the base running errors, the bunting……their is no sugar coating it. They earned this season.My view is that Davey is to blame more than anyone because he set the tone in spring training. He told them not to work too hard. He sent them to tee times after 60 mins of work.That is what the problem is in my view. Anyone think that did not happen? OK I did not think so……know that we agree on that how can you not think that approach did not cause the lake of fundamentals we see this year. Hell they can not even hold a runner on.Final thought….Senators, Cubs, Red Sox are the bare is stupid. Marlins, AZ, Rockies, Rays…..that is the bar and they all played and some won world series rings.

  79. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    There are two types of competitors…the one who loves to win and the the one who hates to lose. I have a feeling JayB is like me and falls into the latter category. If you get offended by JayB speaking the truth, that isn't his fault. I hear mothers of Little Leaguer's that are more objective than some of the people on here.

  80. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Ahhh JD – I was just saying to my brother this morning that this is a weird year for baseball…But it happens… take it for what it is…Me – I am hoping tonight begins at least an 8 game winning streak…

  81. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said…"There are two types of competitors…the one who loves to win and the the one who hates to lose. I have a feeling JayB is like me and falls into the latter category."I think you fall into your own third category- people who don't know what "competitor" means.

  82. alexva - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    sure JayB, I'll agree with your premise. but why did Davey do that?, because it worked in the past. other than the pitchers inability to hold a runner they showed no significant weaknesses last year. he treated them like professionals and for some reason they are not succeeding now. if you want to ignore the possibility that the nature of the sport means sometimes players have bad seasons you lessen your credibility to scream from the mountaintop.

  83. LQ6sJWB9t_NXAxGWd0f5xFKF0f24orw- - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    JayB's – 10:03AM posthe is spot on in describing how the nats have played. This team borders on some of the worst Expos teams. There is no excuse or justification for their poor hitting, defense and overall mental laspes.

  84. sjm308 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Totally different topic – just to clear my head from all this back and forth, I went to National Prospects to read box scores from yesterday. Its a sad addiction but we all are there in one way or another. I was interested in NatsJack saying we have no (or few prospects) at AAA. I am not a talent evaluator but there sure are some familiar names for sure. Are you guys saying Perez is not in our future? I watched him here and he could not get the ball out of the infield as I remember but he is hitting .312 at AAA so he must have had some success. Taylor Roark had a nice outing and his ERA looks to be decent. Tyler Moore looks to be figuring things out. Again, I don't follow it close but there is Korbernus, Walters, Brown etc. Are any of these guys going to see Nationals Park in Sept? Just wondering.Bowdenball – I think "fans" can hate to lose or love to win or hate or love whatever they want – I think "competitors" are the ones who are actually out there performing, getting their uniforms dirty, facing 95 mph fastballs and balls screaming off the bat, and I agree with you on your last sentence. It was one of the main reasons I coached for so many years. There is nothing that can compare to the actual competition. We posters are not even close to that level.Go Nats!!

  85. Section 135 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Davey needs to stick around so he can suffer like the rest of us. No easy exit to retirement. He needs to see this through since he helped create this.

  86. MikeinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I'm not ready to bury this team. They can remain a .500 club through August and still have a shot to control their own destiny.Span has been a drag but he's having a career-worst, bad year. Haren has been close to an embarrassment from Day 1. So why aren't we hearing more about Rizzo's part in this as-of-yet underachieving team?If they make the 1-game playoff, no one will want to face the Nats on Sept 30 or beyond. No one.

  87. Section 135 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Span will be either traded or a bench player next year. No way he is starting in CF. We will either sign Choo or Granderson because Rizzo will need to do something big to makeup for his awful year. Laroche sticks around only because we don't have anyone to replace him but will likely be platooned by a RH 1st baseman brought in from outside. Our entire bench is gone next year except maybe Zuk and Hairston. One of Clip, Storen, Mattheus, Soriano will also be gone next year. I could also see an entire coaching staff being replaced.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    sjm…. Tyler Moore and Espinosa along with Cory Brown and Zach Walters are no longer considered prospects and are more in the "suspects" group. Even Eury Perez has been around the big club enough to establish both his floor and ceiling, neither of which is very high.Tanner Roark is one of those guys that will probably pitch somewhere at the ML level… I'm just not sure it will be with the Nats.No, there is more to expect from Harrisburg with Martinson, Skole (when he recovers) Souza and others.

  89. #4 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I think it was Warren Spahn who said, "there's no such thing as a good curve ball hitter."The Nats season is a many-times-told tale. Young team gets on a roll. Everything falls into place and they overachieve. Bench players seem to always get the big hit. The opposition always makes a mistake at the right time. Everything is peachy, then….The young team forgets that the margin between winning and losing is really narrow. They relax just a little bit. It's not that they "don't care". It's just that they think they've "arrived" as legitimate big league stars. Then things start going south. Doubt creeps in. The snow ball starts rolling in the other direction and before you know it, you are in 3rd place.While I don't subscribe to many of the negative rantings on this board, I will say that Davey's spring regimen may have contributed to this dynamic. I'm guessing that Davey's approach worked well with some of his more veteran teams. The bottom line is that this team is still relatively young and needed a bit more oversight in order to avoid the situation described above.Lastly, I am not in the camp of those who are eager to see Zim move to 1st. As a 3B he can be a top five offensive player at the position. As a 1B, more middle of the pack or even a bit below. I would rather they fix his throwing, leave Rendon at 2B and find a legitimate thumper to play at 1B.

  90. Water23 - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    HH,Due to Clippard's salary his is an expensive middle relief option for an under-performing team. Add to that he is a reliever and that he is due to more arbitration raises and his long term cost may not make keeping him viable. We shall see. I could see the Nats keeping for next year as we all hope they are able to turn things around by then.Maybe this is just a year of growing pains that needs to be ridden out. But, it has been a really rough ride for all involved.

  91. alexva - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    sjm, I think Perez, with a remake of the bench, could very well be a 4th outfielder, I think it's time to turn the page on Bernadina. Moore would have value to a AL team. Brown and Walters as well as Marrero not so much. Kobernus would have to beat out Lombo.

  92. Mr Baseball - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Start working on 2014! I agree trade LaRoche, move Zimmerman to first (now), Rendon to third and bring back Espinosa and put him back at second. So what if he doesn't hit (no one else is hitting) at least we will have a good defensive team. Maybe Shru can help Danny up here, he can't help him now in the minors!

  93. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Do the people calling for Zimmerman to move to first realize he's made only one throwing error in the last 6 weeks?

  94. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    look at the bigger trend line on zimm and errors….it clearly shows years of throwing troubles. It is not physical…if he has time he can not throw….that will never change.

  95. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I still think this is a good team player by player. They are not playing well AS a team and are not in sync with one another at all- case in point, too many HR with no one on base, followed by a whiff with bases loaded, argggggh. Sticking with my conspiracy and paranoia theme of the day, though- doesn't it seem like every single game a player makes the defensive web gem play against us? I mean, we DO get robbed a LOT! These guys seem to be making their season highlight reels when they play us. And you are not paranoid if everyone is truly out to get you.

  96. Tcostant - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Mark was on the Sports Reports least night and indicated that Ryan Mattheus will be the "26th man" on Friday due to the doubleheader. Moreover, he thinks Storen might be sent down (he has options) on Saturday when the 26th man needs to be removed.

  97. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    no that is not the case. Just seems like it. MLB players make those plays every day against who ever hits them. We lead the league in taking 3rd strikes and hitting weak ground balls with the base loaded. We can not hold runners and we run into outs all day. This team is playing very poorly. That is caused by a lack of focus and poor work habits developed by Davey in Spring training. Golf is more important then drills on the field. That was the clear message sent by Davey.

  98. Whack-a-Mule - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Mule reads sadly the words of Mark Zuckerman regarding the 5 straight losses, losing 10 of last 12 games, etc. Mule is panic-stricken at the mention of being but one loss ahead of the Cubs.Rachel Phelps did not contribute to the creation of this year's Nats. Her closest competitor was to have been Theo Epstein, who worked diligently to "put together a team that will finish dead last". The Cubs have not cooperated, having performed well above everyone's expectations.The Cubs cannot under-perform either the Astros or the Marlins, and may very well finish ahead of the Brewers and Padres in the Sweepstakes for the #1 Overall Draft Selection.Nevertheless, the Nats' record puts them in the company of the Cubby Bears. Not the Braves. Not the Reds. Not the Red Sox, nor even the Orioles. And most certainly not with the Dodgers or Pirates. To keep company with the C-Bears means we have reached a heretofore unimaginable mediocrity.Mule is now become Eeyore.

  99. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    JayB-Can you give me a link showing that we lead the league in taking third strikes and hitting weak ground balls with the bases loaded? Or did you just make that up and post it without worrying about whether it was true or not?And if you make things up and post them without worrying about whether they're true or not, what does that say about the credibility of EVERYTHING you post?

  100. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I will look it up…..much closer to reality than your post on web gems…..where is the data for that?

  101. JD - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    NatsJack, Sorry, I don't see Martinson, Skole and Souza as peospects. They are all 24 and Martinson is almos 25. None of them are are particularly strong defensively and none of them are on any top 100 prospect lists. The only real position player who can be considered a prospect (and even that may be a bit of a stretch) is Goodwin and that's only because he's just 22. The real potential prospects are all pitchers and there is potential to convert some of them into position players via trades. I would seriously look at what at the major league can be converted into a prospect. The Brewers just converted Francisco Rodriguez who is a middle reliever and is a rental into a reasonably decent prospect so it can be done you just have to find a dancing partner.

  102. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    JayB said…"I will look it up…..much closer to reality than your post on web gems…..where is the data for that?"Where did I post on web gems?So you posted it before you looked it up? Why? Do you think it's OK to make stuff up and post it as the truth without bothering to check it first? Even if it turns out to be true (and it won't), why should the posts of someone who does that have any credibility at all?

  103. Sec. 1 D, 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    bball, I think JayB confused you with Swami at 11:10.

  104. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Water23As you say, we shall see about Clip. I think a lot of this speculation (from other posters, not you) proceeds from the premise that Rizzo will do, or has to do something big at the trade deadline, and then works backwards–if he's going to make a big trade, who could or should it be?I think it's most likely that Rizzo does nothing big. With Clip, there are certainly questions about his long-term role and cost, but they don't need to be decided *now*. Seems to me most likely that he stays another year and if the Nats fail to contend in 2014, they move him midway thru next summer–or perhaps move Soriano and make Clip the closer.

  105. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    JayB- I really don't disagree with you. Especially about the preparations for the season. Just grasping at straws. And engaging in a little silliness. Trying to stay loose. Lighten up our clubhouse. Paranoia is more fun than just bad.

  106. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    JD, Souza is only about 18 months older than Goodwin, and has broken out, this year, at Harrisburg, while Goodwin has treaded water. Some guys are just late bloomers (e.g. Mike Morse).On the merits, I would expect the Nats to promote Souza to AAA over Goodwin, this year, and I expect to see Souza in the AFL along with Goodwin. He has earned it. Be interesting to see which pitchers they send to the AFL, as well. Maybe Cole, maybe Ray, maybe both, or someone else.Further down, I also like teenagers Mejia and Ward in the GCL, and Billy Burns at Potomac. If the Nats move Souza to AAA, I expect them to move Burns up to AA.Zach Walters is a terrible shortstop, and they will never bring him up to play there. From what I have read, they are trying him out at 3rd base. Good luck with that. But he has developed a power stroke this year. He will never be a regular, but I wouldn't just cross him off the list. A team can usually find a place for a power bat. They did with Morse.Michael Taylor is still young enough to blossom into a ML player, as well.Some of those guys are long shots. But you never know.

  107. nats guy - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Bowdenball,The reason for RZIM's making less errors throwing is his positioning. He's playing in so its an easier throw but he is giving up a lot of hits to his left that he should be making. I know that you think I am beating a dead horse but a lot of people have noticed it. It is also showing at the plate. They are hammering him on the outside corner because he doesn't have the bat speed to hit that pitch. If he moves over in the plate they will hammer him in. He then becomeds Austin Kearns. Is this condition permanent, only the Nats and RZim know.

  108. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    ops sorry bowden…yes it was Swami….Anyone know where we can find the taken 3rd strike stat by team. We are close to leading the MLB in K's divided by PA but I had to do that on my own….

  109. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    The Nats WILL win another game or two this season. I would love to have that first one be tonight.

  110. SCNatsFan - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I am not ready to bury this team. That would be too much work and heavy lifting. I will however continue to kick the corpse.I just think if what you are hoping for now, that luck has us a couple of games out of 4th, then we are sunk. I agree it started in ST, maybe because there were no jobs at stake so everyone showed up with the attitude I have my job and the team is awesome, we don't need to work. If so then shame on Davey.

  111. Sec. 1D 10T, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Baseball Reference Play Index might have K-l/player, and you could get some sense from that, I imagine, without compiling everything, but you have to be a subscriber to get those data. Which, unlike "cosmos," is plural.

  112. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Awww, say it ain't so, Mule. Oh well, better that than Sam (Hee-Haw) Wainwright. Seriously, your well-crafted post made me laugh (but in a good way). Thanks for that, as I needed one this morning. Actually, I've always kinda liked Eeyore, and Pooh, and Piglet, and, um, yeah, I guess I'm a Winnie the Pooh homer, too. As with Violet Bick, I like 'em all. Winning is definitely way more fun than losing, but I'm sticking with my boys, no matter what. As always, your (collective) mileage may vary.Mule is now become Eeyore.

  113. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    "While I don't subscribe to many of the negative rantings on this board, I will say that Davey's spring regimen may have contributed to this dynamic. I'm guessing that Davey's approach worked well with some of his more veteran teams. The bottom line is that this team is still relatively young and needed a bit more oversight in order to avoid the situation described above."Agree completely. Every organization is a reflection of the guy at the top. There were problems early on, and he did not address them. The Nats best players are also the youngest – Harper, Rendon and Strasburg. Davey seems to have taken a "hands-off" approach this year, assuming the team would straighten itself out, just as he thought that Espinosa would straighten himself out – the mantra of the "one more game" that never came for Espinosa. Where are the young guys supposed to look for leadership? Their field manager, Davey, does not believe in team meetings.I don't like poor-mouthing Davey, but the results are largely a reflection of his stewardship. I could go on and on and on with specifics, but that ground has already been covered by others, and there is no point in piling on.Even if these Nats somehow make the playoffs, they won't go far. Rizzo's most important task in the off-season will be to find a manager who can take the Nats young talent to a higher level of execution. They are talented, they are bright, and they have the character and makeup to learn from an involved leader.

  114. Sec. 1D 10T, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Of course, the other thing about strikeouts is, they require three strikes, not just the last one. Taking a fastball down Broadway for strike one, swinging at a slider in the dirt, and then not holding up on a curveball away, is a swinging strikeout, technically. And it feels like they do have plenty of those ABs, as well. Of course, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." (see? I had a reason for bringing it up–it all ties together.)

  115. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    This homestand was built as important. Talk of 8-3 start would put us in position to catch the Braves (,and the way the Braves have played it would have). Instead we come out laying 5 eggs.Whatever they did during the break remember and never do it again (players are superstious).6 for 75 with RISP last 12 games. Not only poor, but only averaging getting 6 in scoring positions is very poor.I havent countrd all along, but last night alone 4 swings that would have been ball 4 resuled in 4 outs not 4 base runners, that contributes to terrible hitting.I know the night befire Shark swung at ball 4 that would have loaded the bases instead of ending an inning.Schu needs to work on identifying pitcheswith too many of them.

  116. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Laddie- I feel that the choosing of a new manager is absolutely critical. It needs to bevthevright person ( and assistants) to match this group of players. They do seem to need guidance very badly.

  117. Sec. 1D 10T, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Where are the young guys supposed to look for leadership? Their field manager, Davey, does not believe in team meetings.So what you're saying is, "They're kids. Scare 'em."

  118. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    That is just he k% which is high and even higher if you divide K's by PA but we were talking about taken 3rd strikes….did I miss that?

  119. TexNat - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Obviously you don't blow up this team. But equally obviously, you don't stand pat. Laroche is not a long term answer at first. And I don't think Ryan can play third anymore. He has to play in to mask his throwing problems. He is an error machine there. Plus, hopefully, you get better offense from him at 1B as he should be healthier. So move ALR for whatever you can get.You then need to sign (or trade for) the best offensive 2B or 3B you can find. Rendon mans whichever position you don't fill.It is worth trying to trade Span as well. Then you can move Harper back to center and get more power on the field in left. The cold hard reality is that this team's lineup is not good enough. If you have faith that Storen will make it back, then trade Soriano. The Tigers are desperate for a closer and could probably be talked into an unbalanced trade. If you don't have faith in Storen, then listen to offers for him, but only trade him if the price is right. Don't trade Clip unless your socks are knocked off. He is too valuable to what should be a good team next year.I don't advocate blowing up the core of the team, but you can't just go into next year merely hoping that Ryan will remember how to throw the ball at 3rd, that Span will suddenly get on base at a 350 clip etc. This lineup is not good enough. It doesn't have any margin for error even when everyone is healthy. That is probably a big reason why everyone is pressing and something always seems to be going wrong. Improve the lineup.

  120. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I missed that.

  121. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I don't think you can do that vie Play Index either. at least I don't see any options.

  122. hiramhover - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    You can find the looking strikeout #s at baseball reference (look at the L/SO and L/SO% columns, 3-4 over from right):http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2013-pitches-batting.shtmlNats are tied for third in the total # of backward Ks, and lead all MLB in the % of Ks that are backward.

  123. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Okay, so here's an idea for all you creative types. Perhaps you're familiar with the work of Henri, the existentialist cat. Well, it occurred to me the other day, after I attended Sunday's game, that there could be a similar series of videos, but with an existentialist baseball fan instead of a cat. Potentially kinda funny, am I right? No? Oh well, back to the drawing board.

  124. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    thanks HH. Nationals are leading league in that.

  125. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    OK Bowden…..there you go….you can hold your head high on that….I was wrong….but not by too much and I was thinking of the NL only when I said it so I was only off by one team

  126. JayB - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Thanks Hiramhover…that is good stuff…I will bookmark it.

  127. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Losing is a disease, as contagious as polio, or the bubonic plague, or syphilis, or STDs or PEDs.I'd prefer a 2 bit carney to Henri the cat. I'm a dog person myself.

  128. UnkyD - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I'm a pretty sunny side up type… But this is getting hard to watch, and I'll cop to thinking a lot about next year, and what the staff looks like after Davey heads off to Bora Bora… Personally, I'd like to see a manager who harps on fundamentals. Pitchers- Throw strikes… Hold the runners, work fast enough to let you catcher have a chance at catching some guys stealing…. And NO NIBBLING!!Batters: Get on base. Pitch recognition, work on extending ABs when you get behind… Stop all this swinging from the heels… More base runners should mean more runs (all other thing being equal). We should be able to play small when facing Aces, as well as make #4-5 guys throw lots of pitches, and get to the 'pen…or just clobber the #4-5s! I've long been impatient with "system guys" running teams… When you have a lot of talent, teach them different ways to win. Nobody should be armed with only a big from-the-heels swing. If you're facing Lee, and you've got an ace of your own in there… Score one at a time. If your staff is banged up, and you're facing a 5.00 era…beat him up! The more ways you can attack, the harder it is to strategize against you, and the less dependent you are on any individual player… It seems silly to not be getting the job done, yet leaving some of your tools, unused, on the bag….It's not over yet, this year, however….YFNG

  129. UnkyD - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    GYFNG…..

  130. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    An interesting combo if I was reading correctly.Nats 14th in runs and 15th in LOB.Meaning we simply getting to few baserunners all together.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 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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