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Game 101: Pirates at Nats

Jul 24, 2013, 7:22 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Davey Johnson hasn't been given his regulars very many days off lately, certainly not with the Nationals struggling so mightily to score runs. But there's no question a few guys could probably use a breather, so tonight two of the biggest names from the lineup are sitting: Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond.

We'll find out Davey's reasoning in each case. It's not all that surprising to see Harper get a day off against a tough left-hander in Francisco Liriano. But it is surprising to see Desmond sitting against this pitcher. Again, we'll see what the reason is in each case.

The benching of those two leads to some other changes, most notably Anthony Rendon sliding over to shortstop for his first career start at that position. Steve Lombardozzi will be at second base. Scott Hairston, meanwhile will be leading off and playing left field.

Oh yeah, and Stephen Strasburg is on the mound, trying to stop this five-game losing streak. Updates to come, so please check back…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (48-52)
LF Scott Hairston
SS Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth

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430 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. A Fly Moses - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    On the plus side, this is the first time all season we'll have a competent bench. So that's nice…

  2. Tcostant - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Much rather have seen ALR sit instead of Desi.

  3. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Agree with you Tcostant-regarding the article with players needing a break, didn't we just have an extended all star break just a week ago? Seems much longer.

  4. phil dunton - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    After nine seasons, managemwnt still hasn't solved the lack of a decent lead-off hitter problem. It started in 2005 with Endy Chavez and continues with Denard Span with lots and lots of other duds in between.

  5. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Hairston batting leadoff with that whopping .167 average (or whatever it is)? Well, he did hit the ball hard Sunday right at 3B and SS, so maybe it will work.

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    A good friend of mine used to say, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you…" Um, what was it again? "Sometimes you" – it's right on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah, right. Now I remember. "Sometimes you *win,* sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."Think about that for a while. Um, yeah, anyway. I'll take door number two, if you don't mind. Yeah, that would be real nice.

  7. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    The blogger Harper has an interesting piece up about how infrequently our best reliever (Clipp) has been used in high leverage situations. Worth a look.

  8. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Yes, that's Baseball 101. And since it's game 101, a win would be nice.

  9. Don - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Rendon is playing SS? I get sitting Harper agaisnt a nasty leftie in Liriano, but would not Lombo be the back up SS right now?

  10. natsfan1a - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Actually, it's Bull Durham. :-)Nats106 said… Yes, that's Baseball 101. And since it's game 101, a win would be nice. July 24, 2013 3:41 PM

  11. karlkolchak - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    "Fun" fact: In his very first MLB start on 9/7/05, Ryan Zimmerman committed two errors while playing shortstop. He has not played SS for even one inning since that night. Good luck, Anthony.

  12. slidell2 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Conventional wisdom would indicate that Steven better set his mind on pitching a shutout, and hope a Nat hits a dinger. OTOH, conventional wisdom doesn't necessarily apply to baseball.

  13. MikeinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Who's on Davey-watch tonight? With this lineup, we need to keep a close eye on him.

  14. Secret wasian man - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I like the lineup. Heck if this doesn't work let Teddy play. I glad Desi is out. Are they charging Bowie Baysox prices tonight?

  15. timeless46 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Did Rendon play SS in any minor league game? I really do not understand having him play short right now. The kid is still trying to learn second, and he is slumping a little to boot. Why make it any harder on him. You want play Lombo (dont ask me why?), then sit Laroche against a tough Left hander, not Desi. And, does this mean Rendon is the back up SS? Oh well. Anyway, the Turnaround starts tonight. GYFNG!!!

  16. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Why in the world is Hairston leading off? And Im not so sure about Rendon at SS…But if it leads to a win, I will be the first to eat crow, as long as chocolate is on the side…

  17. Secret wasian man - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Slidell2. Conventional wisdom has us 4 games under .500. They should have never brought in Billy Taft as a 5th president. FDR in his wheelchair would have worked

  18. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    On the plus side, this is the first time all season we'll have a competent bench. And some great late-inning defensive replacements if by some miracle we get a lead.

  19. Secret wasian man - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Seriously folks? Why is anyone questioning this lineup? Nats had 3 hits last night. 3 HITS. At least Davey is trying. 6. 2. Nats win.

  20. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Yeah, Rendon can play third. Rendon can play second. Shortstop is right in between second and third, so no way Rendon can play short.

  21. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    222 – We are scoring 7 in the 2nd inning… I am burning sage as we speak…

  22. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    According to Julie Alexandria's twitter,Ian's got a nasty blister that broke open yesterday on his hand

  23. Pilchard - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Fact is that no Nats pitcher has bigger problems dealing with defensive lapses than Strasburg. Giving Rendon his first MLB start at SS with Strasburg on the mound is a potentially explosive situation. BTW, Rendon has played 1 game at SS in his professional career. Not sure if he ever played SS at Rice. Really surprising move in light of Davey comments yesterday about Rendon's error at 2B: It takes at least 80 games at 2b to learn the position. So, the next day Rendon makes his MLB debut at SS. With all that said, this team is not going anywhere. So, why not mix things up.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I wouldn't be suprised if the Nats have trouble getting 3 hits off Liriano tonite.

  25. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Two best comments so far:A Fly Moses said… On the plus side, this is the first time all season we'll have a competent bench. So that's nice…and (someone with whom I've rarely agreed)Secret wasian man said… Seriously folks? Why is anyone questioning this lineup? Nats had 3 hits last night. 3 HITS. At least Davey is trying. 6. 2. Nats win.And one I disagree with:Pilchard said… Fact is that no Nats pitcher has bigger problems dealing with defensive lapses than Strasburg.That's old stuff. Not anymore. He busted that monkey.

  26. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    MicheleS said… According to Julie Alexandria's twitter,Ian's got a nasty blister that broke open yesterday on his handWell . . . there ya' go.As for playing SS, I suppose if Rendon has a stronger arm than Lombo . . .

  27. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Folks, I just want to repeat a tidbit from prior thread . . . On June 22nd — one month ago — the Dodgers were 11 games under .500 and last in the NL West (31-42). Now they are 5 games over .500 and in first. (52-47)Just takes a nice win streak to get things going.Although, that ain't happening until our bats come back from the dead . . . OTOH, maybe a couple of shutouts from our big three will buy some time for the bats ;-)

  28. bowdenball - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    A Fly Moses said…"On the plus side, this is the first time all season we'll have a competent bench. So that's nice…"Best post of the day right out of the gate. +1 or whatever they're doing to compliment people on the internet these days.

  29. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    They brought Rendon up after 3 games of 2B experience at Syracuse and he's done fine. Not perfect, but fine. Since it sounds like Desi is injured, the question is who do you put at short. I'd much rather have Rendon's arm and athleticism there than Lombo's. It's a stopgap measure, not a permanent move. And he did play SS until college if I'm not mistaken.

  30. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Poor Stras. He cannot catch a break this season. I am naming this " The Season of Building Character".

  31. Knoxville Nat - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    For all of you asking why ALR is not sitting against a tough lefty ho would you rather have at first base tonight, Chad Tracy? I think not.

  32. Knoxville Nat - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    And that should be "who" not "ho".

  33. Nats106 - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Pilchard, when you say explosive, do you mean Stras' seeming inability to get over defensive errors and lapses which result in a less than optimal pitching performance, or something else?And I heard Johnson as well saying it takes 80 games to learn 2nd so that move as well mystifies me. I certainly feel like we are in Bizarro world with the Nats, but as MrsB said, if Rendon makes no errors, Hairston gets on base 3 times and the Nats win, I'll eat crow.Somehow I don't think I'm going to be spitting out feathers, though

  34. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Wonk, I love your optimism, but it's never been a question of whether it is theoretically possible for the Nats to get out of the hole they have dug themselves over the first 100 games. It's whether this team is capable of doing that. Do you see any sign, since we have been no better than 4 games over .500 since April 12, and have won no more than 5 straight all season long, that we are capable of the kind of hot streak that is needed at this point? I'm afraid I don't.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I'll take Rendon over Lombardozzt at short every time. Rendon played as much short in Spring Training as he did at third. And you can bet he's taken alot of balls at short during batting practice.

  36. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Must be showcasing Lombo for a July 31 trade.

  37. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Looking at this lineup, I can only say one thing:"Two tickets for Bora Bora. Yes, leaving Aug. 15."

  38. Tcostant - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Mark Zuckerman tweeted @ZuckermanCSN Davey says Taylor Jordan has about 20-30 innings left this season before he's shut down.According to Boswell Rizzo hates when Davey discloses stuff like this. I think Davey is trying to yank Rizzo's chain after firing his friend…

  39. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    That would put Jordan somewhere around 150 innings which is alot for a guy who has never pitched 100 innings and is coming off TJ.Rizzo would say the same thing if asked.

  40. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    DC Wonk-Dodgers added Hanley and Puig, who both hit .400 for over a month…who are we adding to the lineup to do that? I still think they are in it, but they have about 2 more games to turn this around before it is too late. I would personally love to see them try to get Soriano from the Cubs…that guy can still carry an offense for a week or two and he loves the hot weather.

  41. Don - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Not sure I'd take Rendon over Lombo at any position other than 3B, but neither guy has played much SS at all. Maybe Davey is thumbing his nose in yet another way at Rizzo by bringing out the fact that the club has no infielder on the roster beyond Desi who can glove SS. Who knows. I hope Redon makes the plays, as the kid is a rookie trying to help a struggling club with big expectations, it is not like he needs his confidence crushed for the sake of some Davey vs Rizzo ego battle.

  42. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    baseballswami said… Poor Stras. He cannot catch a break this season. I am naming this "The Season of Building Character".For the players, or for the fans? ;-)

  43. Tcostant - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… That would put Jordan somewhere around 150 innings which is alot for a guy who has never pitched 100 innings and is coming off TJ.Rizzo would say the same thing if asked. Me: More like Rizzo would say something like we have a number in mind, without giving an actually number. Based on Stras last year.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Rizzo hates Lombo at short.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    ASsNatsJack said, Rendon got reps at short in spring training. Before his college coach moved him to 3rd he was a Texas All-State shortstop, so , though not the same as MLB, the position isn't totally alien to him. I'm not very confident about tonight at all.Liriano hasn't exactly been throwing batting practice lately.

  46. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    So this is the anti-Rizzo lineup devised out of spite by Davey?And you don't think this FO has enough dysfunction to keep the Washington Psychiatric Institute booked fully for six months?

  47. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Section 222 said…Wonk, I love your optimism … Do you see any sign … that we are capable of the kind of hot streak that is needed at this point? No. But I suspect that the Dodger fans didn't see any signs either.But what I do see are a bunch of hitters far below their historical averages. If they can start hitting (and I'm as mystified as the next person as to why they aren't) they can get a bunch of wins. Out of nowhere they starting hitting really well in the second half of last year.I'm not betting they will, but I think it's a lot less far fetched than most think.As the old saw goes: a team is never as bad as they look during a losing streak, and never as good as they appear during a winning streak.

  48. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… So this is the anti-Rizzo lineup devised out of spite by Davey?No. Ian's injured and Harper's slumping big-time against lefties.And you don't think this FO has enough dysfunction…No.

  49. ptindc - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Reading through all the comments makes me miss last year. Regardless of the line up that got rolled out, we could count on being competitive. Now, we get down two runs at the start of the game and it seems like there's no way they can come back. Hard to believe where we today are with effectively the same roster.

  50. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    222 @ 4:30 p.m.,I'm afraid I have to agree with you. The Nats have now passed several of these noteworthy numbers of games over the past few months — 40 games = one-quarter of the season; 62 games down, 100 to go; 81 games = halfway through the season; now 100 games played, 62 left — and each time we've written about the winning percentage required to get back in the hunt or to reach 90 wins or the playoffs. But the reality is the Nats just keeping falling further behind and that 'required' winning percentage just keeps getting higher and higher.At the 40 games mark, their winning percentage was .525 and they were one game behind the Braves. At the 62-game mark it was .500 and they were 7 games back. At the 81-game threshold there was an ever-so-slight uptick (41-40 record and 6.5 games back), but at 100 games the Nats are at .480 and 8 games back. There's just no real sign that the team is going to turn it around this season.But that happens in baseball. And — as someone pointed out recently — even well-constructed teams sometimes have 'sophomore slumps' (I think the example given was Tampa Bay). I'm not ready to throw in the proverbial towel, but I've ratcheted down my expectations significantly.

  51. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Good luck to Stras and his posse tonight. At this point some well placed luck might be just the ticket. I hope they are ignoring any front office politics and I also hope they are open to the new coach , who they already know. Maybe he will see something helpful or be able to communicate something in a new way. I am thinking positive thoughts for light bulbs going on and "aha!" moments.

  52. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Taylor is at 119 innings. Davey is a math major and knows the cut off is around 140 innings. He can work the numbers in his head. Rizzo can't.

  53. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Some great discussions today. I have to say though, some of the trade discussions are just comical. Why in the world would you trade a guy like Espinosa or Storen when their values are at an all time low? Or with LaRoche, what exactly do you think you're going to get for a 1B? Not exactly in high demand…I think the Mariners have about 5 1B/DH types on their roster alone.You need two teams to trade and you need to get a decent return for it to be worthwhile. Especially when, with LaRoche at least, you'd have to eat some salary.

  54. Secret wasian man - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    So the, " it's only April" crowd doesn't like this lineup. Well, for first time in 3 weeks I'm actually excited about watching the game.

  55. Section 222 - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Good recap Eugene. We've waited all season long for them to catch fire, and they haven't. Getting Bryce and Ramos back in the lineup was a minispark — we won 5 of 7 and 6 of 10 after Bryce's return. But it's been pretty much all downhill after that. Remember when Rizzo crowed on the radio that we had won 8 out of 13 games, and some of us were unconvinced that his selective sample meant the Nats had turned things around? That was on July 3. Since then, we've lost 11 of 16 games.

  56. John C. - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    So, let's see: Against a tough LHP Desmond is unavailable to play because a large blister burst on his hand (get well soon, Ian!). Let's review the alternatives: Zimmerman (hasn't played SS since 2005, shoulder woes earlier in the season); Lombardozzi (has played 2 games at SS in the majors, 20 in the minors, only 1 game since 2011; lacks arm strength, inexperienced at SS) and Rendon (Played one game at SS in Syracuse in 2013; strong 3b arm, inexperienced at SS). OK, no clear alternative, keep digging.Playing Lombardozzi at SS means you have two players in the infield playing at unfamiliar positions instead of just one. Plus, at 2b Lombardozzi's weaker arm can (mostly) get away with his disconcerting habit of hanging onto the ball too long before throwing – that won't play well at SS at all. Seems to me that Davey's call is not just defensible, it's the obvious correct call to make.Instead, the more hysterical commenters think that Davey is doing this out of spite: "thumbing his nose at Rizzo," preparing to quit by August 15 to depart for Bora Bora, that this is "bizarro world." Seriously?I know that it's against the basic ethos of the internet, but people should at least occasionally think things through before flinging comments against the wall like this is a primate cage. And for those who posted before Desi's injury was posted, it's the same principle. At least consider the possibility that there is a completely rational reason for the decision – you know, like Desmond is unavailable for the game.

  57. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    John C…..Thank you.

  58. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Really, SWM? I would be interested on why you like it. I don't particularly have a feeling either way, just a bit surprised by your post and would like to know your thoughts on why you like it. Care to enlighten? And as for Bryce- I read a quote on twitter by our manager that he guesses he will have to start monitoring Bryce's knee more often. What???? Start???? Last week I was terrified he would come home lame from the ASG- and I think I would be demanding to see it for myself daily. Experience shows that Bryce would go out there with a limb hanging off.

  59. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I know that it's against the basic ethos of the internet, but people should at least occasionally think things through before flinging comments against the wall like this is a primate cage.Whoa . . . dude . . . that's like a whole new paradigm, man.+1!

  60. slidell2 - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I can remember when Liriano was a bum with the Twins, a member of the worst rotation in baseball. There's no reason that he can't reprise some of that ineptitude tonight; stranger things have happened.

  61. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Before his shoulder issues, Liriano was a stud in Minnesota. When he came back, he lost 5 mph on his fastball and got clobbered.He's back at 94 and nasty again.

  62. SCNatsFan - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I just want to see the Nats play a complete good game. I miss that. Forget winning streaks I just want to win tonight.

  63. Sec. 1D 10T, My Sofa - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Didn't Michele advise us to grow a paradigm?

  64. andrew lang - Jul 24, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… Taylor is at 119 innings. Davey is a math major and knows the cut off is around 140 innings. He can work the numbers in his head. Rizzo can't."I spent the morning with Taylor Jordan and hopefully you got the voicemail I left you. I told Taylor what you told me when we were in Viera with your prediction that you could see Taylor in the Big in 2013.I asked him if he had discussed with Davey about a shutdown and he had not. I guess when he got to the stadium today he found out!Check the Twitter I sent you!

  65. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    SCNatsfan– Me, too!!!

  66. NatsFanSinceStart - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    I can't figure out how Rendon gets out of this game NOT making at least 2 errors at short. Maybe they won't hit any to him.

  67. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Thanks Andrew. I just listened to your message. Sorry I missed the call but I was working on a presentation for work.

  68. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Sofa..Yes I did :-)

  69. nats guy - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    John C,I think the shoulder woes are still there for RZim.

  70. andrew lang - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    NatsJack, glad you liked it. We did a video of his slider grip and he talked about it. I won't give away his secret on his sinker because he has an unusual grip and we will keep that his secret.Extra info that SteveM asked for and I asked Taylor if he was going to add the cutter and the answer was that was the new pitch he would be working on in the off-season for use on the lefty batters!He also confirmed that his slider has gotten better with his work with Cat.This kid is going for it for 2014.

  71. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Very impressed with young Taylor!

  72. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    It's amazing how much the guys on MLB Network still believe in us. I wish I shared that confidence right now.

  73. ExposedinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Amen SCNats….amen

  74. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    David- I have been noticing the same thing, and not just one of them. I think it is based on the obvious talents of each individual. Their experiences have shown them that talented people usually right their ship. I soooo hope they are right!

  75. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Looks like DC United is getting their own stadium just a few blocks from Nationals Park.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/soccer-insider/wp/2013/07/24/d-c-united-and-mayor-gray-reach-preliminary-deal-for-soccer-stadium-at-buzzard-point/

  76. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    David P… and takes away all the reasonable parking by the Park

  77. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I metro in anyway so it's not a factor for me…but that's a good point. Didn't think about that.

  78. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    DC United? What the hell is that..Tonight Nats 3 Pirates 1

  79. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Metro is not feasible for me at all. How many dates would we overlap? Could they do Nats day/ Soccer night?

  80. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Lets play good fundamental baseball tonight… That's all I ask… Hopefully the hate wake up and we will get the W…Lets win this… Go Nats!!!

  81. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Dang… Matt Kemp is back on the DL…

  82. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    MrsB- and so is Grilli. We broke them both on consecutive nights. Oops.

  83. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    I heart one pitch outs.

  84. MicheleS - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Merry Strasmas! Nice 1st inning

  85. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Two os Stras's 3 balls were strikes.Lets see is if Liriano gets squeezed to.

  86. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    1st inning is done… Good job SS…

  87. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Another backwards K

  88. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Liriano did not deserve that high strike call.

  89. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Pitch 4 was Jayson's pitch….

  90. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Well yeah, it was a 3-0 fastball down the middle. That's any hitter's pitch.

  91. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    It was in the zone though so I have no problem calling it.

  92. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    More of the same? All contact in the air. The way he pitches?

  93. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    But typically the Nats foul it off.

  94. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    The same Werth fouls Alverez hits one like it for a homer.

  95. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Well the Pirates scored a run. Game over.

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    This gets soooo old sooooo fast.

  97. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    At work… So I'm watching on pitch track…

  98. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Well Werth has hit enough of them that I'll give him a break. Ryan got a pitch to hit and just got under it. He's not raking so he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt

  99. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Charlie and Dave just pointed out that during this entire homestand, the Nats have held the lead for exactly 1/2 an inning.Uggh . . .

  100. ExposedinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Pretty depressing when your down 1-0 with 8 ab's to go and you feel like your out of it

  101. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    David Proctor said… Well Werth has hit enough of them that I'll give him a break. Ryan got a pitch to hit and just got under it.I don't think anybody's criticizing their at bats. Or, I didn't take it that way. Or, at least: I'm not thinking that. We're just bemoaning the results.

  102. BigCat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    I was gonna say the way you get out of a slump is to shut someone out. Nope

  103. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Yeah I wasn't criticizing…. I just said that was his pitch…

  104. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Fair enough Wonk and MrsB. It's so frustratign when 1 run feels like 10. Last year, 10 felt overcomeable.

  105. ExposedinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Overcomeable might be the best word ever typed on this site

  106. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Dont abandon the fast ball. Mix them all up.

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    David Proctor said… Well the Pirates scored a run. Game over.July 24, 2013 7:28 PMTop of the 2nd and the Doom and Gloom starts. I was enjoying reading through the earlier posts and the Taylor Jordan info. Ray Knight remarked that Taylor was achieving good downward movement on his slider. If he did get a cutter to help against LHs, that is huge and appreciated the intel A.L.Now to the bottom of the 2nd.

  108. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Just saying when you are losing you miss balls to get ahead.

  109. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Correct bottom of second last Friday. Dodgers then scored 2 top 3

  110. Candide - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Not a real strong throw from RZ, but accurate, at least.

  111. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    One could say " overcombable" when referring to that bald spot on the top of my head.

  112. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    I wasnt criticizing Werth, was criticizing falling behind again.

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    You dont lose when you throw a shutout.

  114. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Are Schu and McCatty related? They look alike.

  115. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I think it's the mustache, baseballswami.

  116. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    I'm so tired of "rolled over" pitches resulting in weak ground balls.

  117. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Wrote elsewhere, but will repeat.Nats are 14th in the league in runs. They are also last in the amount of men left on base.Bottom line we get too few runners to start with.

  118. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    When pull an outer half the plate pitch, your begging for a roll over hit.The high number of those are what I have talked about since April.

  119. BigCat - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Lets see if stra comes inside any this inning. Watch

  120. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    I don't have evidence of this, but I suspect that the low LOB stat is influenced by the early season. With a couple of exceptions (last night being one), it feels like we're getting men on base much more often than we were. We're just not doing anything with them.

  121. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Just remember. It's all about the hitting coach.

  122. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Span got another hit! On July 10.Against the Phillies, when he hit a dribbler and the ball was thrown into right field. It should have been a hit+error, but was scored a 2-base error. Apparently, the official scorers just changed it to a hit.OK, now if we, he, anybody, could get some on July 24 . . .

  123. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    baseballswami said… Are Schu and McCatty related? They look alike. Are you joking or are you being serious?

  124. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Nats are 14th in the league in runs. They are also last in the amount of men left on base.Bottom line we get too few runners to start with. Similarly, Nats have a higher rank in RISP then they do in BA. Same deal: the problem isn't hitting with men on base, it's hitting period.The two stats (mine and yours) together show that the Nats are actually slightly _over_ performing in scoring runs *as compared to* their batting average.Just need some hitting, boys . . .

  125. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Big Cat finally a couple 98

  126. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Did SS just fool Marte? Seemed like a good series..

  127. ExposedinDC - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Natsjack…. I prefer to call it "lack of hitting coach"

  128. A DC Wonk - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    And Chad Tracy got an error removed from him over the weekend, too.

  129. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Nice read on Taylor Jordanhttp://www.masnsports.com/byron_kerr/2013/07/davey-believes-taylor-jordan-a-good-fit-for-2014.html

  130. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    That error on Tracy was a complete joke. You can't call an error on a shorthop like that. Bob and FP wouldn't shut up about it, but it really was an egregious ruling.

  131. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    So far when se e Schu engaging with players on the bench that is a step up.Eck hid in a corner and wrote on his clipbosrd. That is not coaching. That is stat keeping.

  132. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    They look a little similar.

  133. David Proctor - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Is it possible that the cameras are showing Schu more because he's new and Eck did this all along but it wasn't shown on television? I suspect that's the case.

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Mike Rizzo sitting with the owners once again behind the on-deck circle.

  135. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Overall batting .239 i read .235 RISP.

  136. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Ghost – of course I am joking- it's the matching staches. I must keep my sense of humor when watching the Nats play.

  137. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Don't tell me the Nats don't monitor these blogs.

  138. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    No eck didnt sit in the front he sat in the back.Schu is up front where a coach should be.

  139. baseballswami - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    David-, they showed Eck a lot, actually. He was in the back if the dugout and always had his open notebook.

  140. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    swami, I was thinking to myself, I don't see it. Just add that ;) wink a thing or upside down question mark. Thanks for the chuckle!

  141. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Scott Hairston is due. He got his LHP matchup.

  142. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    If they did they hit the other way on outside pitches more

  143. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I knew I saw tge same thing. Never engaging with anyone. His stats were important to him, but talking to the hitters during the game was not on his radar.

  144. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Right now I'll settle for a hit…

  145. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    What are you people talking about? Eck was always close to the steps that lead to the on deck circle during Nats at bats. And I mean ALWAYS.

  146. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Nice throw by Zimmerman.

  147. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Julie must have interviewed me as Rizzo sounded like me.

  148. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Never saw that. Just saw him and his damn notebook.

  149. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    NatsJack, doesn't it get old trying to correct people on the fiction and BS that some write here.

  150. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    I am really flabbergasted at how bad the hitting is. They are not going to score. They look like they may lose every game remaining. I'm not upset anymore. I almost feel sorry for them.

  151. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Nice curve for the K. Taking to many pitches per batter though.

  152. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    I never feel sorry for any of them.

  153. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    And now you'll see Rick Schu spitting sunflower seeds. You won't see him talking to guys in the game. Yesterday they showed him with his buddy from Arizona, Chad Tracy during the game but unlike Eck, he won't take notes during the game.

  154. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Wow, field empties and Ump calls it a ball and not a strike. I think their pitch track needs recalibration. It's not where the catcher catches it as it's where the ball crosses the plate.Nats better get the d— bats going! Support your pitchers! Play some smart ball with the top of the order!

  155. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    We will see the next 2 months

  156. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I am really mad at La Roche for almost never trying to go the other way against that shift. He's starting to look like Span out there.

  157. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Stras 16 pitches per inning. Woul like to get that to 12 to meet my expectations.

  158. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Rendon hasn't put a barrel on a ball in a week at least.

  159. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    SWM, when ALR came out of his slump he was hitting them over the shortstop. He's not doing it much anymore.

  160. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Did carp just say this pitcher was crafty? No he's not. Our guys couldn't hit a ball if it was on a tee. And could that FAT ugly manager for the pirates jam any more gum in in face? Disgusting

  161. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    MNF, if Stras was throwing 12 an inning that would be tops in the Majors.

  162. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Agree ghost. But every swing is a hard PULL.

  163. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Ball in the dirt again and we strike out. Just unreal.

  164. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    The Nats pitch recognition isn't great by these veterans.RZim, just another routine strikeout.

  165. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    At least JWerth didn't go fishing!

  166. JaneB - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Jeez Louise, what is going on with these guys? I feel worse for them than I do for us. It's heartbreaking. I was on a plane to the West Coast today with a Cubs fan who spent 90 minutes in a monologue lamenting the loss of Matt Garza. I just listened. He FINALLY said, "You seem to know a lot about baseball. Who do you follow?" I said, "The Nats.""Oh," he says. " 'World Series or bust.' That's the end of that." OY. OY OY.I hope Stras keeps facing down these guys. I hope the defense holds strong. I love them, but I'm not going to hope the offense picks up until I have reason to hope. I grew up on the Mets. I know how to love 'em when there's not much hope to pull you through.Oy.

  167. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Don't wont a win, don't wont a run. Just want a hit. I mean is Walter Matthau managing this bunch. Do doo do doo. Do doo do doo

  168. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    ALR damn near hit one out to left yesterday.

  169. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    3 hits in 13 innings.

  170. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    In this series in the 3 games through 4 innings the Nats have 2 hits. Harper a lead off single and the Buffalos home run.

  171. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Damn near only counts in lawn darts, horse shoes and hand grenades.

  172. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    For a whole season.Just need it for a game

  173. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Anthony Rendon…..a diferent kind of whiff.

  174. Another_Sam - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Has anyone used this material: "The Electric Prunes have more hits than this bench."

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

    NatsJack in Florida said… ALR damn near hit one out to left yesterday. That is true. Like I said, he's not doing it much anymore. That flyout went to left.

  176. ExposedinDC - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Only a matter of time before some insiders start calling for the return of Danny Espinosa

  177. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Ghost your right. It just doesnt seem like anybody trying anything different. It's time for harp to get in there now.

  178. TimDz - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    I'm thinking of buying stock in Papa Johns….This team may not score 7 runs in this series, let alone one game….

  179. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    This is amazing. Like watching a car accident, I can't turn away.

  180. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    So how long till the Nats get their new hitting coach the teams 4th hit during his tenure?

  181. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Everything right at the Pirates. Off the bat I thought Ramos had a hit.

  182. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    FP just said Nats trying to string together some hits. You gotta get one before you can string any.

  183. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    The other team's advance scouts do a great job as we hit a majority right at the fielders.

  184. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Span never beats out infield hits.

  185. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Are you kidding me… He threw 4 d*mn pitches that inning!?!?!?!!

  186. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    5 pitches of frustration for the Nats. That was ugly. At least Ramos hit a line drive and Span finally went to 3rd base on a grounder although the same results – no hits.

  187. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    This is just unbelievable. They may never get a hit again.

  188. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    No. He facitiously said "some hit"….singukar.

  189. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Span has 12 infield hits. Nobody is going to beat out that play.

  190. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I'm sorry… 5 pitches…. Just gross….Come on guys…

  191. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Who should I be rooting for, the Braves or the Mets? The Mets are about to pass us….

  192. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    So it's ok for Marte to try bunt.

  193. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Just when you thought it was rock bottom, the team goes out, rents a jack hammer and starts drilling through the rock.

  194. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Strasburg's VELO is sizzling tonight!

  195. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Realistically I'd be amazed if this team didn't get no hit this season.

  196. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Vince Coleman and Jose Reyes beat that out, DP…. but of course, Span is no Vince Coleman. I doubt that he could even carry Vince Coleman's sock…..

  197. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Rendon's 1st positive play at SS.

  198. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    "Span never beats out infield hits."=================Denard Span has 13 infield hits this season.

  199. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Tomoorow in the 5th inning. No more all star breaks if this what happens when you take a few days off.

  200. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    BTW MLB Extra Innings is free this week…..

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