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Downward spiral continues

Jul 25, 2013, 5:13 AM EDT

Associated Press

The continued devolution of the Nationals nearly reached epic proportions Wednesday night when they entered the bottom of the sixth inning against Francisco Liriano without having recorded a base hit.

In the end, the events of the ninth inning in a 4-2 loss to the Pirates might actually have proved more painful than a no-hitter.

After squandering Stephen Strasburg’s best start of the season and watching as relievers Drew Storen and Fernando Abad turned a 1-run deficit into a 4-run chasm in the top of the ninth, the Nationals nearly stormed all the way back in the bottom of the inning, only to see the game end on a blown call by umpire Laz Diaz.

“It’s no secret that the ball definitely isn’t bouncing our way,” said Denard Span, who hit the groundball that resulted in the controversial, game-ending double play. “That wasn’t the story of the game tonight, but anything could’ve happened if that play isn’t called there.”

Who knows what would have happened had Diaz correctly seen Wilson Ramos elude second baseman Neil Walker’s tag on the final play of the game? The Nationals still would have trailed by two runs, with one out and two men on base. But it was a fittingly bitter way for this club’s sixth straight loss to go in the books.

“Not even close. He never tagged me,” Ramos said. “He told me: ‘He tagged you. I didn’t hear, but I saw it.’ I said: ‘Sure, you didn’t see anything. Not even close.’ But I don’t know, maybe he wanted to go home.”
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108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Coolhandbane (formally Bob Saget) - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    I dont know what to think any more about this team, espcially their offense. This is my guess on what could happen in the near future.I mean we have Ryan Mattheus coming back, Tyler Jordans inning limit, det's back and Haran's inconsistency to look forward to. Ross Ohlendorf becomes a starter when Jordan's limit is up or if Haran gets DFA'd or traded. Someone like danny rosenbaum could be another starter if we dont trade for another pitcher if Haran is gone. When Mattheus is back, Storen gets sent down to work on his funk.As for the position players, I have no clue what to do to help this team win or get better.

  2. SonnyG10 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    If we can't hit against the good pitchers, then it doesn't matter if we make the playoffs or not. We surely won't win the world series.

  3. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:56 AM

    FWIW, Phil Wood thinks the Nats will move Storen at the deadline in anticipation of Mattheus' return. Danny Rosenbaum is not ready for prime time – just got bombed in his last start. Haren is untradeable with that contract. They may bring Karns back up and go with only one lefty in the rotation from here on, until the end of the season. My guess is Rizzo is already looking to next year. Davey looks like he wishes the season was over.I'll be there tomorrow with my son. It's always a great day at the ball park, but I really hope they can squeeze out a win. They will be back. There is just too much talent on that team. May as well get back on track tomorrow.

  4. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    A classic example of why baseball's rules for assigning Ws and Ls can be misleading, even unfair. Drew Storen deserved the loss, period.

  5. pedrocerrano - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    span complaining about that blown call is hilarious. You hit an effing double-play ground ball you effing moron. The umpire wrongfully took away a gift. Perhaps the larger point is that YOU SUCK

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    What a game by SS! Offense sucks these days but 97 mph in 8th inning is just too good. You could tell from first inning that SS would have a good night.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    game score of 88! 15 better games have been pitched than SS's game this season, highest being S Miller's 98 GSc in May.

  8. Secret wasian man - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    What an absolute meltdown this season. Just awful. Pedro nailed it Span hits yet another pathetic dribbler and then blames the ump. Is anybody on this team looking themselves in the mirror? Oh get Rendon outta there for a bit.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    This looks like a Nats game– but isn't. Have a laugh. A sad laugh.http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/25/mike-leake-notches-unique-10th-win-as-reds-beat-giants/

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Terrible injury to Huddy. Hope he recovers soon!

  11. hiramhover - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    The end result notwithstanding, kudos to Stras.For all the talk about him relying less on Ks this year, he proved that he's got the ability and the smarts to dial it up when he needs to.He had a weak defense behind him and pitching to contact and hoping for GB outs and double plays would be a formula for disaster. So he got the season high 12 Ks (previous high for 2013, 9) and gave up no BBs.Bravo!

  12. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Stras pitched great, too bad Liriano pitched better. That seems to be our luck–and I'm not discounting the lousy offense. Stras didn't pitch that game when he got a three-run lead in the first inning. Everything seems so mis-timed this year.

  13. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Stras was amazing! And now we are seeing some mental toughness, too. Sometimes you perform badly and sometimes you don't get a break- the Nats are in both categories right now, an awful witches brew. When my children were going through some terrible times in their lives I always told them they were building character. Turns out it was true. Hope it is true for the team and fans now also. When things get better, we will all appreciate those wins and good play. I hope we never get cocky and smug. Time for something good to happen!!!!!

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    At 4:15 PM in the in game thread yesterday, I said "I wouldn't be suprised if the Nats have trouble getting 3 hits off Liriano tonite". They got 2.Oh well, another beautiful day for baseball. Beers in the fridge and the bratwurst is ready for the grill. Let's play 2! …. Oh yeah… that's tomorrow.

  15. blovy8 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I don't think Liriano pitched better, NL. I think our offense is just that bad.

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    true that.

  17. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    First off, I agree Span has nothing to complain about; he hit yet another ground ball right at an infielder. He appears to be aiming for the major league record on that.Second, and more important, why didn't Wilson and Davey go nuts on Diaz after the blown call. What is the downside to getting tossed when the game is over? All Davey did is walk around with his palms out. You know why they didn't argue more? Simple, the team's heart has gotten used to losing. This team needs passion. This team needs heart. Sounds like the Wizard of Oz.

  18. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    At least Span NOTICED!!!! I don't think Davey did until someone nudged him out of the dugout.Davey was bright and chirpy at 8 am on the radio.I really think he needs to nap or something, he seems SO different in the after-game pressers. It's a long day, hot and tiring for a man his age. Get him some help for these decisions. Get Randy Knorr (or Werth if he's not at bat) to check with him. Speak up, guys–during the game, not after it.(1) Why use Suzuki to bunt==> Haren (or JZimm) wasn't available????? Now you have burnt Suzuki, can't use him when Ramos gets plunked in the helmet, can't pinch run for Ramos in the 9th.(2) Why use Storen? Why not pull him after the first hit–just pull him outta there!(3) Why not pinch hit Harper for Span?????

  19. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    They lead MLB in tipping their caps to the opposing pitcher.

  20. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    And , NatsLady– spot on with those questions. How about if you are going to bunt just let Stras go ahead and do it?

  21. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    NL – Im not sure if you read the in-thread… those questions were repeatedly asked…I know I sounded like a broken record last night as I kept saying that…But this is like the 3/4 game that the BP has let the team down becuz we ended up doing something in the 8/9 inning…J Werth's home run should have been a walk off…

  22. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Maybe Stras was tired or had his arm iced already. (I didn't see shots of the dugout). It's entirely possible that the Tigers could sweep the Phillies and the Cards could sweep the Barves this weekend. If we win even 3 of 5 we could pick up maybe a game or 1.5 games. I'm starting to think it's NOT going to be a long winning streak, just pecking away at the deficit. The Barves are just not that good, and, sorry to say, really sorry, they lost Huddy. (He wasn't doing that great this season, though he was having an excellent game). If you can get it to a deficit of 4 back by September call-ups, and if Detwiler is back (and I would put him in the bullpen), you still got a good chance.

  23. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Hadn't seen heard about Hudson until I saw your post, Faraz. Evidently his family was at the game, too. The runner, Young, looked like he felt awful about the injury. Looks like the broadcasters showed restraint in not replaying it over and over. These days, it seems that happens all too often with footage of such injuries.As for our game, um, at least nobody got hurt? And we weren't no-hit? Yeah, I got nothing. Oh, except that SS pitched his butt off, so there's that.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    MrsB, I try not to read in-game threads. I did read a little of this one (and even posted) but as soon as certain people came on, I left.

  25. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    I don't do game threads but I did say that to my tv set at the time. (My husband and the cat having gone upstairs well before that.) :-)J Werth's home run should have been a walk off…

  26. Kiterp - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    SCNatsFan … agree 100%. That was the most disappointing moment in the game, when Davey walked away. I’m sure someone could confirm it was a blown call so he had every right to lose his mind…show some support some passion. I haven’t been a proponent of resignation or forced early retirement but you have to wonder if he’s already given up

  27. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    NL – I know what you mean… I only respond to certain folks.. Dont have time for the non-sense…1a – I was so livid when Storen came in (and I like him a lot) but I was like DJ what the hell are you doing (again – i swear I ask that question every game, and i like DJ too)… Storen's confidence is shot right now… Dont put him in high level situations.. With Storen, it is always that he is left in a batter too late…I was amazed… SS had only 2 hits against him in 8 inning pitched… Drew comes in and surrenders it in a few batters…

  28. karlkolchak - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Anyone else think Strasburg's great game was a result of him dropping the pitch to contact nonsense and just going back to blowing hitters away? I know p to c works well for J-Znn, but he isn't as good as Strasburg and it seemed like before last night Stras was doing a lot of aiming this year instead of just rearing back and letting it fly.Anyway, I hope this is the beginning of a new trend for him.

  29. sjm308 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    MrsB – I am going to try and follow your example. No more getting upset.Will be there today – first time using Red Carpet and they were able to get me 308!! Will take the spousal equivalent to her first game of the year. Only was I could do that was promise dinner at Cafe Belga after the game but that is a win/win for me.god I hope we win, but I also hope I get to see a game like SS pitched last night. Go Nats!!

  30. karlkolchak - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    MrsB loves the Nats – when Storen was brought in my wife immediately asked me to turn off the game, and she is usually far more forgiving and patient while watching this team than I am.

  31. hiramhover - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    karlSee my comment @ 6:12. Maybe it's a long term change, maybe it was a one time adjustment to the fact that he had a newbie SS and a rusty 2B behind him, and not wanting to count on them for GB outs.Either way, it's a reminder that he can pitch like that when he wants to.

  32. Section 222 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Mark, why do you say:"the Nationals still would have trailed by two runs, with one out and two men on base."? The Pirates got Span out at first so there would have been two outs, and a man on second, and Lombo coming to bat. I don't like our chances to tie the game that much in that situation. The blown call was a fitting way to end the game, but it's not why we lost. That would be our hitting ineptitude (new hitting coach not withstanding) and Storen's failure to keep the game close in the 9th.

  33. ExposedinDC - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Am I missing something here….if Ramos had been called safe it would have been 2 outs runner on 2nd not 1 out and 2 runners on like the article reads….or am I missing something ?

  34. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    SJM – Its hard.. I dont sleep well at night when my teams lose… so this past week I have gotten a combine 16 hours of sleep… yeah about 4 hours every night… Sometimes I wake the man-friend up and start talking about the game… he just lets me talk (he is a Yanks fan and a Nats fan)as he knows how I feel… But I am not giving up hope this year… I cant.. Not until we are mathematically eliminated.. I love my Nats regardless of what happens…Karl – I am one of Storen's biggest supporters but I recognize that he is struggling but I blame a lot of that on DJ… He doesnt use him accurately at all…

  35. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I really think he needs to nap or something, he seems SO different in the after-game pressersFrank Robinson used to fall asleep in the dugout during games. How'd that work out?

  36. sjm308 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    It really is sad how far Storen has dropped. I think we all had high hopes as he broke through a couple years ago. Young, intelligent, good in front of the camera etc etc and his stuff was great.I can't remember but when did he start becoming so slow with everything. His time between pitches drives me nuts maybe more then the results.Oh well, have to hope in two or three years we will be cheering him as our closer in the playoffs.One bright note yesterday was I received my box of Series II baseball cards from Topps. First pack I open has Bryce Harper. One pack had both Jordan Zimmermann and Strasburg, wonder what the odds of that are? I read the back of the cards and won't bore you folks too much but I just learned that Lincecum will join Seaver and Blyleven with over 1500 strikeouts in his first 7 seasons if he gets 183 this year. I realize he has struggled but that is impressive. Wonder how long it will take Strasburg.Go Nats!

  37. baseballswami - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I do find it interesting, though, that Storen seems to be taking 100% of the hit for the ninth inning last night. He put people on, let one score, but Abad increased the damage – and not by a little. Storen is struggling- not defending him, just wondering why no one is even mentioning that Abad could have held it right there but made things so much worse. Seems like his role in it has been overlooked. Storen has become somewhat of a whipping boy.

  38. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Swami – its becuz theoretcially the runners were all charged to Abad… Did Abad screw up too? Yeah when he hit the batter and then threw that pitch that I was thinking 'too much plate too much plate' i said in the thread yesterday, i felt Abad was getting the HRod treatment… But DJ should have pulled Storen after the game went to 2 – 1…

  39. alexva - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    from my view Storen has been in a bad place all year. his stuff is still good enough to close so hopefully he gets back to his early success.and learns how to hold runners.

  40. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    MrsB. Abad just isn't that good. You keep asking why DJ doesn't go to the lefties in high leverage situations and the answer is because he doesn't really trust them. Even though Storen is having a bad year he still has some left over 'capital' with DJ.

  41. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Alexva, I think you are right on. BTW the fact that Storen or in fact most if not all of the Nats starters can hold runners is on Mc.Catty. There is no excuse this wasn't fixed in spring training.

  42. Amr Khani - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    MrsB, I think you meant runs charged to Storen. And you're right – that's why he's getting all of the blame. But just like a pitcher's win/loss record, it's misleading. Realistically, those runs should be distributed between the two given they both had something to do with it. As far as pitcher's win/loss record, its not just misleading, its downright absurd (Stras gives up 1 run through 8, bullpen gives up 3 runs in 1 inning, yet because of the timing of the Nats runs, Stras gets the "loss"?; Ohlendorf and Storen had wins against the Padres when they blew leads if I'm not mistaken; etc.). The fact that Davey actually sometimes manages to this stat (how many times have we heard him keeping a pitcher in there so he has a chance to win) is terrible.

  43. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    JD – I think Abad is better than what we saw… I wont make any excuses for last night though becuz both he and Storen failed… maybe it is a good thing Mattheus is coming back…Thanks Amr – yes I meant to Storen…Thanks.

  44. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Ghost…yes, you would be a very good GM

  45. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    any way….heard Charlie Casserly this morning with the junkies…he was as PC as one could be…I do feel for davey…he does not deserve to be going though this…Rizzo is the bad guy in this

  46. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    What this current streak has done (hopefully) is put aside any notion of getting a 2 month rental and giving away any prospects at any level. I think Rizzo should think long and hard about ALR,Soriano and even Span. I don't think these guys are the problem but I also don't think they are part of the solution. I would stick Tyler Moore at 1st base for the last 50 or so games and really find out which of the past 2 years represents his true potential. If they trade Span I would stick Eury Perez in center field for those 50 games as well and see what he's got. If you look at the Pirates model you will see that you don't have to spend $13 mil a year on a decent but not great closer.

  47. Unknown - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I am heading to the game now. Hope to be plastered by the first inning.

  48. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Giradi would be a great choice

  49. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    JDagreed

  50. John - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Storen is this year's Burnett. Good in April and May, terrible down the stretch with runners on base. Face it (and I think most of us fans know this now), Span sucks. He is EXACTLY the type of hitter the Nats DID NOT need. Everyone was hyping up his .264 batting average in the Spring and I was like "that's okay…nothing to write home about". Then I saw him keep hitting dribblers down the first base line EVEN in SPRING TRAINING. He is STILL DOING IT.This season was a failure in February not now. This team needed serious power hitting and they honestly acquired nothing. How many fly balls has LaRoche hit to the warning track only to die in some outfielder's glove? Hindsight is 20/20 but how nice would it be to have Prince Fielder at 1B? He would be hitting balls to the weird Walter Johnson 10 armed statue. Sigh.

  51. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    no way I trade Span now. it is selling low and I don't think you have seen the true him. let us not forget the adventurous folks in CF we used to have.

  52. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    as Don ameche said in trading placessell, sell, get out there and selllol

  53. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    PF is making $23 million for .818 OPS and his salary only increase from now on.

  54. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    mick, why is Rizzo the bad guy here? He took a team that won 98 games, did not blow it up, made a couple of changes which all the experts lauded (Span,Haren,Soriano) and handed it to Davie.

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    that is a bit misleading. it increases to $24 MM next season and stays there for six more seasons. you really want that on this team?

  56. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said…no way I trade Span now. it is selling low and I don't think you have seen the true him. let us not forget the adventurous folks in CF we used to have.====Totally agree… I want to say all of our batters are hitting below avg, not just Span, although I swear he is the sole reason our record is based on some folks up here…

  57. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    John, Again. We essentially swapped Morse for Span and guess what? their overall contributions are more or less the same (in fact Span has been a bit better). The problem was not the personnel changes, the problem is between April and now on the field.

  58. John - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Minnesota owes us BIG. First they took the Senators. Now they gave us Span. Rizzo needs to be on the horn with the Twins' GM asking WTF & proposing Willingham for Span.PLEASE: Trade Span back to the Twins for Josh Willingham. A Win Win, I think.

  59. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Faraz, This PF stuff is nonsense anyway. We managed pretty well without him last year.

  60. John - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    JD,You're probably correct statistically about Span and Morse. But think about this, Morse at least hit home runs. He was also pretty clutch at times. Can't say that about Span!! I haven't even mentioned the clubhouse factor. The Nats players loved Morse. There is something to be said for off the field leadership. Morse has heart. The guy came up big in the playoffs and down the Stretch. Remember game 5? Remember the phantom home run? That was a clutch HR. Aside from the strangeness of doing a fake swing. I digress.

  61. bowdenball - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    John said…"Minnesota owes us BIG. First they took the Senators. Now they gave us Span. Rizzo needs to be on the horn with the Twins' GM asking WTF & proposing Willingham for Span.PLEASE: Trade Span back to the Twins for Josh Willingham. A Win Win, I think."I guess the downside of the Nats being popular enough to draw bandwagon fans is that those new fans sometimes make posts like this. A couple of things:First, we stole Ramos from the Twins for a guy named Matt Capps a couple years ago. Capps is currently pitching for the Indians AAA affiliate. They don't owe us anything after that heist.Second, Willingham is currently on the DL with a meniscus tear in his knee. He won't be back for another month or so, and when he returns he'll probably have to DH, since he was terrible defensively even before the knee injury. He's also under contract next year when he'll be 35, and he has a long history of injuries. Not exactly a valuable asset.Welcome to the forum and the sport, though! Baseball is a great sport and this forum is a great place to learn more about it and the Nationals.

  62. SCNatsFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I don't think you trade Espi, Storen or Span unless you get great offers; you are selling low on players with an upside. Realistically, the lineup is pretty well set; changing our bench players is just cosmetic at this point. We aren't getting Posey for Ramos and Espi; if we trade any of our underachievers what we will get back will be the same.

  63. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    PLEASE: Trade Span back to the Twins for Josh Willingham. A Win Win, I think.====That is a joke, right?

  64. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    JDwe have a difference of opinion on Rizzo, but let me qualify, that I am one who has said, Rizzo should be given next year to right the ship based on the 98 wins.here are my reasons:1) Why didn't the Lerners extend his contract last season…that is an honest question and it should be a red flag…do they see something in him that concerns him?2) You say he did not blow the team up..that is true in terms of addition and subtraction, however, even Charlie Casserly this morning who was being PC suggested that the Morse trade may have been a mistake. i think it was huge mistake and it did blow the team up in the club house and in not having that power bat in the middle of the line up3) Among Burnett, Gonzales and Gorzo, why not keep at least one of the them…that made no sense in letting all 3 go.4) Haren was a horrific move and the fact that he pitches every 5th day means he is significant part of the team, so that in a sense blows the team up. BTW, you forgot to mention Hairrston, what a bust, he is the face of Mike Rizzo's moves this season and puts an exclamation mark on it.5) I am not giving Davey a full pass by any means, I think he has burned out as a manager the way Dick Vermiel did with the football Eagles 30 years ago, Dick admitted it though. part of that burn out was caused by the garbage Rizzo brought in here. Soriano was a good move, but the dude does not play because we are not in save situations and recently, when the Nats have rarely been in save situation, he has blown it, lol

  65. jeeves - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Agreed, jd. When Rizzo made his moves I thought we had the best team in baseball. The only move I disagreed with was LaRoche, but certainly didn't feel strongly about it.I haven't a clue how the team on the field can be so bad. But then who does? Yeah, I knowall the theories. Spouted a few of them myself, but there doesn't appear to be any definitive answer.Heck, the first year Expos were much better. Of course, the first year Expo's pitching wasn't in the ballpark compared to the Nat's. The pun was intended.

  66. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    here is where Rizzo could strike good deals..among the contending teams, there will be GM's who will be impulsive which translates to stupid …they may believe a Storen, Espi, Soriano etc.. are the final piece, this is how the Nats can get good prospects. There will be at least one knuckle head move out there and hopefully Rizzo can take advantage of it

  67. John - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Bowdenball,I knew about Ramos/Capps trade. I'm not bandwagon, pal. I may disagree with you on the Span thing but the point you are missing is this team never had any power. They traded away Willingham (their best power hitter in 2010) to Oakland for really nothing. Remember that? Did you watch the Nats in 2010? I did. I was a Nats fan in 2005 and season ticket holder in 2008. Remember 2008? I do. Who's bandwagon now, Bodenball?

  68. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Mrs.B. If you consider Desi,Rendon,RZim,Harper,Werth and Ramos to be the core pieces and players which can't or won't be moved and if you also agree that the current lineup hasn't worked this entire year that only leaves ALR and Span as possible movable pieces. No Span is clearly not the problem but he is also not the catalyst we had hoped for.

  69. JamesFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Here is a contrary view to some:-The choice was not Span v. Morse. It was LaRoche v. Morse. The Nats chose LaRoche. We needed a capable centerfielder/leadoff and Harper is not it. He's awkward in center.-Rizzo has done an amazing job. He is not the field team leader. DJ is. If there is a problem with the field team, it belongs to Davey. Frankly, I do not think he is some kind of baseball genius. He wants to put the same 8 guys on the field every night, line up the pen for a 7-8-9 sequence and play long-ball.-Is anyone surprised that Storen let this game get beyond the Nats? Who put him in that situation at this critical point in the season?-Last night's game was lost in the top of the 9th, not the call in the bottom of the 9th. There is way, way too much whining about umps and other trivia. The Nats lost this game, not the umps.

  70. hiramhover - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    By all means, let's get rid of Span and his 1.1 WAR for Morse's -0.2 WAR and his 30-some days (and counting) on the DL.People make bad decisions when they're frustrated. But I guess proposing silly roster moves is better than breaking your throwing hand by punching a locker.

  71. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    here is one big knock I have on Davey…. if the team spent all this money to get Span, then G-damn stick with him at lead off . By moving him down the line up you are basically saying he is a flop. This is where i have my doubts about the direction of the team.

  72. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    JD – Yeah that logic works… but I think of the invaluables that both bring on the D… Harper is still a catcher learning the OF and he isnt a lead off… I think Span brings that realm to us.. Now if he can just get himself right at the plate, things can be better… Same with LaRoche. He has saved our tail a few times over there at 1st and I know people keep talkig about moving RZ to 1st but I think that is a disaster waiting to happen…They both have the potential but none of the Nats (outside of Werth) are really seeing the ball well… I think the line up is fine, just vastly under-performing…

  73. Don - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Span has not been terrible, he has just not been very good. He has actually been raking of late and he's played a nice CF all season long. So stop the whining already.

  74. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Morse was off to a very good start…maybe he does not get injured if he stays in DC…very bad decision to trade him…to many defenders of Rizzo in denial…also gang, Morse would not have lead off if he had stayed and a power bat would have been in the line up…the fact that Davey has moved span around is all you need to know… and I also base my view on a simple notion…team won 98 games with Morse, bottom line

  75. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    JamesFanPoint 1 – Totally agree… Harper is still a C learning the OF and putting him in CF isnt the answer… He gets bad jumps and seems out of position… Point 2 – Totally agree, again… DJ seems lost this year, to which I feel bad, but it definitely doesnt help that he cant seem to motivate his players or fix the issue…I disagree about the basebal genuis though.. DJ is better than this… I think he is truly baffled and out of ideas…Point 3 – *broken record* I think DJ uses Storen wrong, myselfPoint 4 – No one is saying we lost becuz of the blue but just commenting on that horrid call for the game to end… It was disatrous… But Jayson's HR should have been where the walk off was and that was that…

  76. bowdenball - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    John said…"I knew about Ramos/Capps trade. I'm not bandwagon, pal. I may disagree with you on the Span thing but the point you are missing is this team never had any power. They traded away Willingham (their best power hitter in 2010) to Oakland for really nothing. Remember that? Did you watch the Nats in 2010? I did. I was a Nats fan in 2005 and season ticket holder in 2008. Remember 2008? I do. Who's bandwagon now, Bodenball?"Well, you just suggested we trade an actual asset for a 34 year old guy who plays terrible defense and is on the DL with a knee problem. And now you seem to think Willingham would still be on the team if we hadn't traded him in 201;- his contract expired after the 2011 season,and the well-regarded Oakland A's front office so no reason to extend him when it did. Also I don't know if I'd call Corey Brown "really nothing." He's played for the big league club and may do so again in the future, and even if he doesn't he's not worthless as a trade piece given the power he's shown in Syracuse.By the way, I've been a season ticket holder since 2005. And I apologize for assuming another season ticket holder was a bandwagon fan, but the fact that you didn't know any of this stuff sure suggested it.

  77. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Also JD – it goes back to my Nats have an identity problem theory… They didnt trade Morse for Span… It was for LaRoche…They knew that they werent getting a power guy with Span. He has never really been that his entire career…They were expecting him to get on base more (which I also agree he has to improve) and was figuring that the rest of the line up would bring him in… But its been many of times that we have stranded him and others..Bottom line – the entire lineup isnt doing what it is supposed to do.. (Insert player here) can get on base and we just cant seem to bring them home…

  78. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Charlie Slowes metioned that the last time the Pirates had a winning record was in 1992, they were 96-66. Man, I hope it is not 21 years before the Nats have another winning record, just a thought

  79. John - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Fact is, this team plays like they've got pop and they really don't. At least under Riggleman they played small ball and knew their role. Desmond thinks he's freaking Mark Mcgwire.

  80. JD - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    mick, Let me answer your points in order: 1) I don't know. 2) Morse was horrible defensively, going into a walk year and Davie was not crazy about him. I think his absence is overblown here. 3) Middle relief issues are not that relevant because in the end they don't make that much of a difference, look at Tampa, they get a new set of relievers every year, look at Pittsburgh, they converted a bunch of veteran retreads into a decent pen. 4) Haren is a horrible move only in hindsight. It made perfect sense at the time and really the difference in his contribution this year and what EJax did last year is maybe 2 games all year. 5)When you bat a player with an OBP of .227 leadoff I think it's time to hand in the keys and sail off into the sunset.

  81. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Mick – I do not, for the life of me, understand why Hairston was leading off last night…I dont like Harper leading off either… He needs folks on base for him..I think Span can fit the lead-off but as I said before, it seems we struggle to bring folks home, so even if he did get on, it seems like it doesnt matter…

  82. ExposedinDC - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    The seeds for this season were sewn in March and I blame both Davey and Rizzo, for starters you told everybody that would listen that your roster was set and there really isn't any camp competitions, 2nd Daveys country club approach to the season was taken to a whole new level in the spring….this has created a malaise that really has never left, 3rd, neither Davey or Rizzo could separate last season from this season until it was too late for example Bernadina, Moore, Tracy and Espinosa.

  83. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    MrsBBINGO, it was for ALR period…and it really defied logic in my view given ALR's age..If they had money for Span, Haren and Soriano, they sure as hell had the money for Morse.

  84. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    ExposedinDCgood post and to add..the country club approach has a lot to do with the injuries caused by a lack of conditioning… even veteran players can not be trusted to get themselves in shape, you need a full time trainer and conditioning coach…this is why successful NFL teams require their players to be in town during the off season.

  85. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    mick – team won 98 games with Morse, bottom line===And how many of those 98 wins did Morse play in and contribute… Again, people put too much stock in an oft-injured player who was not the answer at either OF or 1st base…Also how is Seattle doing with him? Seems there fans feel the same way and some Nats fans…Rizzo gave Morse an opportunity to be a starter elsewhere.. He took it, started off hot, and has done nothing else except constantly end up on the DL with another team…

  86. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    MrsBgood point. Werth did very well when lead off last year, but his injuries do not make him a full time lead off hitter and he does not want to lead off…This goes back to my earlier post on Span..the fact that Davey is moving him around the line up admits failure on Span..this means if he is not your lead off, you essentially have a guy in the lineup with zero power..so it means back to the drawing board in finding a full time lead off batter

  87. hiramhover - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Morse was gone as soon as they re-signed ALR, who–as pretty much everyone predicted–has not lived up to his walk-year performance last year. Still, I'd rather have him over at 1B than Morse.

  88. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Some stats facts; Month of July the Nats have played 20 games. These stats for the month may surprise some of you. I listed in order of batting average, but the OPS is very close to being the same order.Jayson Werth .368 BA/.451 OBP/ 1157 OPSRamos .327 BA/.365 OBP/ .916 OPSDesmond .270 BA/.349 OBP/.674 OPSSpan .264 BA/.338 OBP/.671 OPSZimmerman .256 BA/ .310 OBP/.656 OPSHarper .214 BA/.329 OBP/.658 OPSRendon .211 BA/.263 OBP/.643 OPSLaRoche .180 BA/.261 OBP/ .572 OPSNobody, other then Werth and Ramos, has very impressive stats at the plate for the last 20 games. Read the stats and form your own opinions, but 20 games is a pretty good sample size.

  89. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    well MrsBMorse played in 102 games last yearthis season he has played in 56 with 11 homers before he was hurthmmm…

  90. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Joe sgood post…wow, ALR is back to his April stats

  91. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    hiramhover defensively, ARL has saved Desmond and R Zim from total embarrassment. Nats are in a catch 22 with ALR, they need his defense because Desi and r Zim are scaring throwing the ball, but his bat goes dead every other month

  93. hiramhover - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    MickThat's what I was saying.

  94. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    hiramhover got it

  95. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Looking at July's stats, do you still think Harper should be leading off?Is Rendon just in a prolonged slump?Or has the league figured something out about him? Or is there any possibility that he isn't mentally ready for the grueling task of an entire pro season and is wearing down? [I'm not drawing any conclusions, but I think it's a good question].Should Werth lead off against LHP and Span against RHP? That's what I would do until if/when Denard starts hitting LHP.

  96. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Joegood points and I agree wit you on lead offIt could be that Rendon has been figured out and now it is up to him to adjust, but, I never thought about him maybe not being ready to go full time. that is an excellent question

  97. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    we didn't need Morse if we had Harper. But we don't. he is hurt and LaRoche is ill.

  98. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    If I had the time I would look it up, but wondering if anyone here could research historically in the past 20 seasons, a young team who wins 90 plus, falls back the next season then comes back to win 90 plus. I am having a tough time finding that team off the top of my head. I know the Yankess won it in 78, fell below 85 wins in 79 (Thurman Munson death played a part) then won I think 100 in 1980?

  99. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    NLI just wish we still had Morse, i really liked him on and off the field

  100. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I miss the PA at the park playing "stay on me" when Morse was about to bat, that was electrifying …he was an emotional guy and I loved his energy..oh well

  101. TexNat - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    There was no reason to trade Morse once they got Span. This team needed a 4th outfielder, back-up 1st baseman with some pop in a very bad way. And he was picture perfect for the role.Trading what would have been a valuable contributor for prospects is not exactly a world series or bust type of move.

  102. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Morse was also the closes thing the Nats had to a Rick Dempsey type of guy. Dempsey was the kind of dude who would have your back in a bar fight. Remember the mini brawl with the Cubs last season, Morse was the only guy along with Edwin who was ready to rock and roll. The Nats do not have that guy.

  103. Kiterp - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    TexNat … you do not put a player like Morse in the final year of his contract on the bench.

  104. mick - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Thinking of Dempsey, reminds me of something the late Al McGuire once said about how you know who the Irish guys are in a bar, "their the ones who begin taking their rings off their fingers at mid night" lol

  105. bobfromalexandria - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    maybe they should fire the bullpen coach since firing the hitting coach had such a positive effect.

  106. TexNat - Jul 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Kterp, you do whatever is best for your team. He would have gotten at least 300 ABs without injuries. And of course there have been many injuries.

  107. VP81955 - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Keep Rizzo, if only because he'll choose the next manager. If He goes, the power is in the hands of the Lerners, who'll probably hire Cal Ripken, if only to satisfy Tom Boswell's Oriole obsession.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 17.5
Through Wednesday's games
x-Clinched division title

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THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
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