Skip to content

Haren pitches Nats past Mets

Jul 28, 2013, 12:23 AM EST

Photo by USA Today
Of the many things that have gone wrong for the underachieving Nationals this season, perhaps no player has been more of a disappointment than starting pitcher Dan Haren. It’s okay to say it, even Haren will tell you that’s the case. 
“Obviously we’re a few games under .500 and a big reason for that is me, among other guys, but I take a lot of the blame,” he said after the Nats’ 4-1 win over the Mets on Saturday.
So to have the veteran seemingly turn a corner of late, at least across his four starts since returning from the disabled list, perhaps it can be taken as a sign of something bigger. The Nats have broken out of their losing ways momentarily at times over the past few months, but Haren has failed to maintain any sort of consistency from start to start. 
Momentum has been a topic the Nats have shied away from after recent wins, knowing just one win can’t get them out of the general malaise they have been in for most of this season. But there was a general message of positivity after Saturday’s win, their third in the last four games. 
The other two wins were on walkoff homers, while the loss was an 11-0 drubbing at the hand of the Mets. Haren says that game may have been rock bottom for the team, and to respond in the way they have over the last 24 hours gives a sense this recent stretch could actually be the start of something.

Read more »

  1. Secret wasian man - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Guy looks like he's finally coming around. Nice job.

  2. Brandon Wedel - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    If they can keep the defense tight, and pick up the offense adding hits w/ RISP, they aren't out of the equation yet. They are at 51-54, and the Braves are at 59-45. It looks like a long shot but if the Nats can go 34-23(.597), and the Braves go 25-33 (.431) the rest, they can win the division.The Nats could do that with A DC Wonk's formula by winning 2/3 from the big 3 and 1/2 of the #4,5 spots. If Ohlendorf pitches like he has and Haren like he did post-DL, we could have a winning streak to help push it further.

  3. SCNatsFan - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    I remain cautiously optomistic

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    I just want the Nats to play solid defense and score runs early for Taylor. The kid should easily be 3-1.

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    If we were chasing any team other than the Barves, I would be worried. Fredi has them primed for another choke job. We'll have Jesus, Gio and Zimm lined up for them in 10 days. We still have nine left with ATL. Don't give up the ship. With barfball Fredi at the helm, anything is possible. Here's hoping Kid Jordan gets his first MLB win tomorrow.

  6. jeeves - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    What I have liked about Haren from the get go is that he has never shied away from taking the blame for his poor play. Not Storen, Not Espi, not Soriano. And others, such as LaRoche and Span who have consistently underachieved. I know the latter two have alluded to their having to step up to the plate. But somehow it lacked resonance or something.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    No question Haren is a standup guy. Answers all the questions, great with the media, not an ounce of arrogance. I'm just hoping those 21 homers are his full season's quota. He's got the Brewers at Miller Park next Sunday. That will be a good test of whether his gopher ball has retired.

  8. Candide - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Yeah, well, it's kind of hard to shrug the blame off onto someone else when you've given up five runs in three innings. "Well, gee, if those bums had only scored eight or nine runs, I wouldn't have gotten stuck with the loss…"Nice to see him have a strong outing. Now convince me it wasn't a fluke.

  9. sjm308 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Add me to the list of those who have appreciated how Haren steps up, no matter how well or poorly he pitches. Even with this excellent performance, he was still talking about how he felt responsible for getting us in the hole we are in now. I think others in the clubhouse appreciate him as well. Harper talked about him being a former All-Star and that has to rub off. I am not looking for him to pitch for us after this year but if he can continue what he has done in 3 of his last 4 starts we can certainly have an exciting last 2 months.Great to meet 106 today and I enjoyed his story about LaRoche and his daughter.Back from Mom's party and if I could just get her to switch from the O's things would be great. You ask who here favorite players were and she will tell you George Case & Cecil Travis (both great old senators) but when they left town she made the switch and never came back. Palmerio broke her heart and I think she has a crush on Rick Dempsey. Anyway for her 90th I am going to take her to the Diamond Club.Really want to see us get the kid his first major league win tomorrow!!Go Nats!!

  10. SCNatsFan - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    I agree Jeeves. Seems like too many players have thought since they are here they are here until they retire or go to play somewhere else. All he demoted players got a fair shake. I applaud Haren for being a stand up guy.

  11. sjm308 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Totally unrelated (my comments usually are)Chase – what a great picture of Walter Johnson on your twitter thingy. Where did you find it??

  12. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Very nice win today, and a great day at the park. Haren was sharp, and Span hits his first, and Harp connects. Him getting going is the key to this team catching fire. I still don't think he's playing with the fire he had last year or at the beginning of the year, but maybe several good games and he'll get his confidence back. He did throw a rocket from the left field corner to second base. The kid has an arm.I couldn't help wondering today if Ohlendorf's outing last night was this year's John Lannan moment — the second game of a double header with the team in meltdown mode. Only this year we're 8 games back instead of 2.5 games ahead. There is very tall hill to climb ahead of us. NJ, is it ok to start looking at the standings yet?

  13. sjm308 - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Dueces – you need NJ's permission to look at the standing? Wow – I realize that he has control of the poppycock but did not understand it goes further.

  14. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Phillies lose their 7th in a row, 10-0.

  15. RaleighNatsFan - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Let's hope Taylor can go deep into the game Sunday. I don't see any of our regular closers generally available tomorrow with Storen gone, and Soriano & Clippard having pitched three days in a row. Seems like it would take some combination of Stammen, Abad, Krol, and Mattheus in relief Sunday.

  16. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Well there is an off day after tomorrow so if Clip/Soriano could manage 4 in a row, they'd get a day off. It's asking a lot, but the club is in a pinch. And Clippard hasn't thrown many pitches at all (compared to Soriano who has thrown 25+ in each game).

  17. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Deuces, FWIW, I've always felt you should win more than you lose before you start looking at what other teams are doing, but maybe that's just for the team, not fans. IMO.

  18. slidell2 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    I'm always hopeful, but despite the 3 – 1, W – L over the last 4 games, there remains the sobering fact that most of our runs are still being scored as the result of errors and home runs. When I start seeing innings with strings of constructive at-bats, then I'll feel confident that the team has indeed turned the corner.

  19. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    And against good teams, Slidell. That, too.

  20. skidge - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    (Warning: naivete alert, and I know some will want me banned for it.)I'm not able to go to many games (although I watch most of them on TV), but I made it to this one (and was able to stay through the delay to the end). And then I read the whole game thread and the subsequent threads and started wondering about the possibility of multiple universes. I'm far less knowledgeable about anything that's discussed here than (I'd guess) at least 95% of you, though I much enjoy reading the blog and comments. But this was a fun game, and all I can think now is how marvelous it's been for the last 8 years to have a team again.

  21. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    308, just poking a little fun. Several weeks ago, NJ informed us that anyone who pays attention to the standings before August 1 doesn't know anything about baseball. I figured it's July 27, so maybe it was ok.

  22. Nats 128 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    "Section 222 said… I couldn't help wondering today if Ohlendorf's outing last night was this year's John Lannan moment — the second game of a double header with the team in meltdown mode. Only this year we're 8 games back instead of 2.5 games ahead. There is very tall hill to climb ahead"You defined the comparison nicely. If the Nats go on a run like Tampa Bay then it is the turning point like the Lannan game. In the Lannan game we knew immediately that it was significant. The team blew a 9 run lead the night before and looked like the team would fall out of 1st place.

  23. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    skidge – "all I can think now is how marvelous it's been for the last 8 years to have a team again. " — there are a number of us that feel the same way.But of those, there are a number who don't participate in game-threads because they're too negative (and, it seems that there are some that _only_ (for the most part) come out in game-threads in order to heap scorn).So, your observation about "different universes" is not so far off the mark. There definitely is a different universe of participants during game-threads! ;-)

  24. Brandon Wedel - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    I know it's silly but Ohlendorf, Soriano, and Zimmermann all have immaculate innings consecutively in MLB history.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitchers_who_have_struck_out_three_batters_on_nine_pitches

  25. pedrocerrano - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    This is probably the 15th time this year the postgame comments from the clubhouse have been something along the lines of "this was a really big win that should help us finally get going"Forgive me if I have reservations

  26. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    From the high desert in Eastern Oregon…Couldn't watch the entire game, but just had a chance to see the condensed version and highlights. As best I could tell, today's game (along with last night's) represented exactly the sort of performance I expected the Nats to turn in on most days during the 2013 season. Good pitching, (mostly) crisp defense, and (just) enough timely hitting to win. I'm not ready to talk about 'momentum' unless and until the team quickly gets back to .500+ ball, but at least the free fall seems to have stopped (knock on imitation grain). Go Nats!P.S. to skidge: Loved the parallel universes suggestion; it also applies to some of the suggestions for trades, DFAs, and such.

  27. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Should have read 'imitation wood grain' – sorry.

  28. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    I was curious about Storen's delivery so I went looking for some video. It looks like coming out of college and his first minor league season, he had a high leg kick. Here he is pitching in the Arizona Fall League in 2009.By the time of his 2010 MLB debut, the high kick was gone, replaced by the stiff leg delivery, although it looks a little less deliberate to me. He was still using it near the end of the season when Werth hit a walkoff homer against him. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)Here's an example from early 2011when his leg looks a little less stiff. But the stiff leg delivery was clearly in evidence when he got his 40th save in September 2011 and one year later when he got the save the night that the Nats clinched a tie in the NL East.And of course Game 5, not that I think anyone really wants to watch this. Maybe someone more expert than I am can assess whether there have been subtle changes in his stiff leg delivery over the years.

  29. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    One addendum to the Storen deliver research. I thought I remember Drew making an adjustment in 2011 spring training that worked for him. Turns out, it was to go back to the "slide step," which I think means the stiff leg, that he used in 2010. Apparently he had resumed using a higher leg kick in the early part of spring training and Werth and Stairs noticed it, and he went back to the slide step. Here's Mark's story on this.So if he's going back to the high leg kick, he's returning to a delivery that he blamed for his bad performance during the early part of spring training of 2011.

  30. SonnyG10 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    Section 222 said……I still don't think he's playing with the fire he had last year or at the beginning of the year, but maybe several good games and he'll get his confidence back…I was thinking that also the other day, but then, after he hurt his knee on that play in the outfield, I realized he is probably protecting his knee by not going all out when its not necessary.

  31. John - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    The Braves' Supremacy from April is dwindling each day, standings aside. After all the turmoil this season, you have to think the Nats are eagerly anticipating August 5-7th. "You live for the fight when that's all that you got." Bon Jovi.

  32. RC - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    checked at BBREF… over the past 36 months, braves have played .400 or under just once (Sep. 2011). last year, they played .700 ball (19-8) in sept.however, forget scoreboard watching until 'nats get & stay above .500. while they are below .500, the braves are irrelevant.

  33. Drew - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Harper update:718 from Henry Aaron499 from Mickey Mantle1 from Bob Lemon

  34. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Maybe its my imagination, but the Nats seem to be driving the ball better and are swinging at good pitches earlier in the count. They are either seeing the ball better or Schu has contributed something to their approach. Harper's walk-off the other day was on the 2nd pitch, Span's HR yesterday on the first.That is something I'll be watching for today. It's OK to be more aggressive as long as you are selective and swing at the right pitch. Note, also, that since Schu left the minor league system Danny has slid back below the Mendoza Line.Maybe there really is something to the dynamic between hitting coach and team offensive performance. The Dodgers paid a hefty sum to get Mark McGwire.

  35. sjm308 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Good Morning!Laddie – I think maybe Eckstein was saying the same thing but maybe its just a different voice or a new way of saying the same thing and I agree that they do look a little more "aggressive".Dueces – glad I am not the only one that can poke a little and I now realize that lots of NJ's comments start with "if …… you don't know anything about baseball" or something to that affect. Guess he has the market on knowing about baseball, but I do trust a lot of what he says.I have said it for a couple of days now but I want to see Jordan's first win, I want Ms. Alexandria to interview him, and I want that tub of gatorade to come crashing down!!! This kid has done a fine job, not excellent but he certainly deserves better. A win here will get us 4 out of the last 5 and hopefully keep us moving in the right direction.Not that anyone cares but I read box scores of almost every game, I look to see what old nationals have done, I look at teams ahead of us, I look at standings, and I even look at the American League. I look at pitching matchups for the next day and I might not know anything about baseball but I like doing that with my actual Washington Post that some on here have called moronic that I pay for it. Sooooo off to the driveway (Tony Soprano style) to pick up my paper and start my day.Go Nats!!

  36. natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    A little traveling music for sjm. :-)

  37. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    308, we still get the Post, too, though there are days I wonder why. There is just a ritual of the wife and I reading it with our coffee that we are reluctant to let go of.There's not one regular poster on here that I agree with all of the time, nor is there one that hasn't been wrong a time or two, well except… oh never mind… Sometimes I just see this as a virtual bar with a lot of Cliff Clavens and Georges and Coach types from Cheers, with maybe a Carla and a Dianne mixed in. Like bar characters, we're all full of ourselves sometimes.And poking is an American past-time Gotta love it.

  38. natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Norm! (As the stats folks like to say.) :-)

  39. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    The key to Storen making the high leg kick work this time around will be the stirrups. Did you notice that yesterday both Harper and Desmond wore stirrups, possibly in solidarity with Storen, and both of them homered?

  40. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    RC said… checked at BBREF… over the past 36 months, braves have played .400 or under just once (Sep. 2011)But under .400 is _really_ bad. More surpsigingly to me — I only checked 2012 & 2013 — is that they played under .500 in only one month (May 2012 the were 14-15)Nats have done it twice — April of this year 13-14, and the current month (ughh), 10-14.

  41. A DC Wonk - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Not that anyone cares but I read box scores of almost every game, I look to see what old nationals have done, I look at teams ahead of us, I look at standings, and I even look at the American League. I look at pitching matchups for the next day and I might not know anything about baseball but I like doing that with my actual Washington Post that some on here have called moronic that I pay for it. Sooooo off to the driveway (Tony Soprano style) to pick up my paper and start my day.That brought back memories, for me, of pre-internet days, when the only way to get boxscores was from the paper.Back then I did what you did: opened the page of boxscores, and examined all of 'em.

  42. baseballswami - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    During the last week we have seen three situations addressed– Eck gone, Siriano's attitude called out, and Drew sent down. Clip vented. Seems to me that things have been festering for a long time. Randy Knorr made a statement and so did Clip. Davey got his two cents in, as did Rizzo and Cat. Lots of garbage spewed, addressed and dealt with right or wrong. You have to think that the atmosphere is clearer after the storms. Maybe some of that stuff was just simmering under the surface and it was time for things to blow. I hope that having some things out in the open and somewhat resolved will help the team.

  43. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    So Storen goes down and then, Johnson tells us about the long talk he had with Storen about all the things that are wrong w/ his mechanics and what he has to work on to get back, etc., etc. So we "see" that the reason for his abysmal performance is that he has been lacking in fundamentals and — implied — not really about being a bonehead. I have been death on Storen for the last month+, willing to trade him to the Chunichi Dragons for a plate of blue tuna sushi. Part of me wants to take back some of the mean things I said — just count me now as needing to be shown that he is working on this stuff and will find his way back to, say, his August-September 2012 form. (I still think Soriano has no business being the highest paid reliever in baseball and won't object one bit if he is traded.) But I think it would have been much better if Rizzo/Johnson had candidly talked about Storen's issues earlier on — maybe even have sent him down earlier — instead of smiling grimly through clenched teeth and making Storen look like a head case. Maybe he was/is a head case but I would have had more patience with someone who I thought was working on his craft, issue by issue, not just serving up meatball sliders.

  44. fast eddie - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    sjm and Seamhead:I tried to order WaPo when I relocated to SC, but was told it would be next-day delivery. Now I get it on-line (almost as good).Lots of posts here re: 4th and 5th starters. To me, it's all about our hitting where we rank near the bottom in all categories. All postion players are near their career averages except Laroche and Span. Rendon has cooled off after a torrid start and Harper has hit .219 in the last 40 games. Can Schu help? He had an undistinguished career (.246/.310). We'll see.

  45. TimDz - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    This blog is quite like "Cheers."The regulars talk amongst themselves….The rest of us are just background noise….

  46. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    DC Wonk — re: "the only way to get box scores was the paper." Some times it still is the only way. On the Internet version of WaPo, unless you get the box score early after the end of the game, they bury it so deep you have to go three-four pages deep before you can find a link to it. I often turn to nationals.com just because I can find the box score within 2-3 clicks. In my view, the box should be available on the first page of the sports section until there's a new one to replace it.

  47. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Good morning NI'ers. A few notes from yesterday's Q & A with Mike Rizzo at the Season Ticket Holders event.1. Davey wasn't there. Per yesterday's Twitter comments, he had told them "two weeks ago" that he wouldn't be available due to the day game. Nationals were sending out emails to the STH's including Davey less than two weeks ago. Draw your own conclusions.2. Rizzo on trades: "we're taking calls, we're making calls. There are a core of players who would not be moved." (Contrast that with last year's "we like who we are.") For Rizzo, that's actually a statement (IMHO).3. Rizzo on 2013: I am grading myself a "C." Made the offseason moves I thought needed to be made, but some of them haven't worked out. Not giving up on this year.4. Rizzo responding to a question regarding whether we needed a player with more "fire in the belly" to get their fellow players, well, angrier after a loss. (I am paraphrasing a bit here because the sound system had a lot of feedback.) His response was that Jayson filled that role–not by throwing helmets in the dugout, but by knowing what it takes to win, and letting players know in the clubhouse when they weren't. He also mentioned RZimm as a team leader–did not mention Desmond.5. Rizzo and Director of Player Development on Espinosa: you'll see him again this year. Don't just watch his numbers: he's definitely improving his swing.6. Rizzo and DPD on Chris Marrero: he'll be a big league player. (My conclusion, based on that statement and seeing him in Spring Training is "for another team, barring serious injuries here". NatsJack, feel free to contradict me if you think otherwise).My two cents–anyone else who was there yesterday feel free to weigh in.ArVAFan

  48. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Tell the Washington Post, print and online, to F off. For $15 or so, get the MLB At Bat app on your device of choice and you have instant access to boxscores, standings, video highlights, radio broadcasts and more, all season long and wherever you are – as long as you're near WiFi or your plan's data service. What, you don't have a device of choice? You really ARE a Neanderthal.

  49. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Baseball-Reference has all the box scores too, including a play by play of the game and lots of other info. I certainly understand the sentimental value of the paper box scores, but online versions are a very good substitute.QuickPitch last night (which I record and watch in the morning, replacing the morning paper ritual) had a long segment on Storen, including the quotes from Clip and Rizzo. It showed so many home runs being hit off Storen that my head was spinning. Then it showed Haren, Clip and Soriano shutting down the Mets yesterday. I liked that better.

  50. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    "He also mentioned RZimm as a team leader–did not mention Desmond."So as not to give Desmond's agent any more ammunition for the upcoming negotiations on a contract extension.

  51. Gonat - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… Maybe its my imagination, but the Nats seem to be driving the ball better and are swinging at good pitches earlier in the count. They are either seeing the ball better or Schu has contributed something to their approach. Harper's walk-off the other day was on the 2nd pitch, Span's HR yesterday on the first.That is something I'll be watching for today. It's OK to be more aggressive as long as you are selective and swing at the right pitch. Note, also, that since Schu left the minor league system Danny has slid back below the Mendoza Line.Maybe there really is something to the dynamic between hitting coach and team offensive performance. The Dodgers paid a hefty sum to get Mark McGwire. July 28, 2013 5:32 AM ________________________________Debatable what it all means but the different voice does seem to be getting heard.This summer I've worked at baseball camps with one of Mark McGwire's Cardinals teammates and friends. I decided to ask him what makes Mark so good as a Coach. It started being a player for LaRussa. Then he learned to Coach under LaRussa. Then he found what worked which is having an approach before you walk into the box and what he said is the players listen to him. Its not the same approach for every player. What still bothered me with Eckstein is that LaRoche felt the need to go offsite to Chipper Jones. I think he lost some of the players.I'm not turncoating on Eckstein, but clearly his message wasn't getting through to some of these players. No walk-off HRs before Schu. 2 in 2 days. Let's see over the rest of the season as this is as they say a small sample size.

  52. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Get Your Re(n)d On said…"He also mentioned RZimm as a team leader–did not mention Desmond."So as not to give Desmond's agent any more ammunition for the upcoming negotiations on a contract extension.________That's actually the first thought that came to mind for me to. Rizzo and Desmond have both expressed interest in an extension. Rizzo has called Desmond a team leader before. Suspicious that he suddenly stopped.Of course, the less cynical version is he just said who came to mind first. But either way.

  53. Gonat - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 said… 4. Rizzo responding to a question regarding whether we needed a player with more "fire in the belly" to get their fellow players, well, angrier after a loss. (I am paraphrasing a bit here because the sound system had a lot of feedback.) His response was that Jayson filled that role–not by throwing helmets in the dugout, but by knowing what it takes to win, and letting players know in the clubhouse when they weren't. He also mentioned RZimm as a team leader–did not mention Desmond.___________________________Didn't mention Desmond? Not a big deal since he has mentioned him before. He didn't mention LaRoche either or Haren or Tracy and they all are supposedly leaders. Ryan Zimmerman has self-described himself as a quiet leader. Werth is the the teams leader. I think Rizzo mentioned Ryan out of respect given his FoF status and tenure. Ryan isn't giving team speeches or giving unsolicited advice. Ryan has said that if players want to talk to him he will talk to them.

  54. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I pointed out the other day, but Ryan and Bryce seem to be getting pretty close. I see them together in the dugout a lot and they've had some shenanigans going on during the walk-offs the last couple nights. Zim is also one of the first people Bryce always mentions when someone asks him about the veterans–along with Werth.But you are absolutely correct that Ryan has always been adamant that he's a lead by example type and not rah-rah.

  55. baseballswami - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I am actually glad we don't have guys that destroy phones with bats when the team is winning. Clip showed that there is passion, however. I think they are more the slow burn type. You might not see great big demonstrations, but it's there. When I read posters who say they just don't care I completely disagree.

  56. Nats 128 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    "c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 said… Good morning NI'ers. A few notes from yesterday's Q & A with Mike Rizzo at the Season Ticket Holders event.1. Davey wasn't there. Per yesterday's Twitter comments, he had told them "two weeks ago" that he wouldn't be available due to the day game. Nationals were sending out emails to the STH's including Davey less than two weeks ago. Draw your own conclusions."You shouldn't make statements like "Davey wasn't there". He was there and around and could be as simple as you weren't everywhere and missed him.He signed autographs on the field and was whisked away to go somewhere else. I wasn't everywhere and didn't see Bryce—-OMG! Panic!It kind of takes away your credibility on your quotes as to we hope you got it right. Desmond is a leader IMO and so is Chad Tracy IMO.

  57. sjm308 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Ren(n)d – no need to get angry with an old man that still likes his newspaper. I have mlb on my ipad and use that when out of town. I just have a better feel for an actual paper in my hand then reading it on my macbook. You can disagree and I am not upset because I AM a neanderthal. Computers still are not in my comfort zone – sorry. (I don't actually mean that sorry, its sarcastic – you won't find me apologizing for something I like to do)Now, on to baseball. You made an excellent point about the stirrups. My spousal equivalent could care less about baseball but she has one interesting theory. At the start of the game she looks at which team has the most color showing and lets me know that is the team that will win. Three of our four runs yesterday were scored with players wearing their socks high – Haren – Bryce and Ian. Zimm also had the high socks yesterday so the Metropolitans had no chance.Go Nats – off to paint images in my cave

  58. NatsLady - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Let me say this. If Rizzo trades Clip (which I don't believe he will) he is a fool. If they ever put relievers (besides Mo) into the HoF, a good candidate for that type of career is Clip. I said that two years ago, and I haven't changed my mind. Here is what he has done over the last five years (min 300 IP)359 IP (312 games), 2.66 ERA (leader) 1.04 WHIP (2nd) K% 28.9% (3rd), If he closed more games (or walked fewer batters) he'd have more WAR, but a walk doesn't equal a hit–and he'd rather walk guys. He is an extreme, extreme flyball pitcher, but they don't hit a lot of homeruns off him (7.9%), not because he's in a pitchers' pack (Nats Park is neutral) but because they can't square it off against him for line drives. If it's far enough, it's a HR, otherwise it's a high popup, lots and lots of popups. If he's overused–which tempts every manager he's ever had–he gets tired and slumps. But he recovers, every season, every year.

  59. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    gooood morning ladies and gentlemen and other gentle things

  60. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    coach as much as they irritate me, I confess, I still read the Post

  61. Candide - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    TimDz said…This blog is quite like "Cheers."lol…agreed..up until I laid off the bottle a bit, I was Norm, the NIer drunkha ha

  63. fast eddie - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Lots of chatter here re: Storen, Clip, etc.The elephant in the room is the lack of hitting.Since July 8 we're 5-12, averaging 2.7 runs per game. IMO, Rizzo needs to make a serious move for a hitter by July 31, not just replace the batting coach or tinker with the bench. Why wait till the off-season to fix an obvious problem? He knows who has trade value and who's out there–just do it.

  64. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Nats 128, you're a little off base on your beating up on c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 [ArVaFan], IMHO. If you look at his first sentence he was referring to the "Q and A" part of the event. Davey wasn't there. He did, as you stated, make an appearance elsewhere, but he was not at the "Q & A" part of the event.

  65. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    fast eddieyou bring up a great point, let me add something Phil wood said 2 weeks ago about the team runshe says, last season Nats averaged 4.6. Historically, teams that average 4.5 win 90 games with few rare exceptions. My take is this…if Rizzo believes they have the pieces…why add??My feeling is they either work it out or not. The team batting needs to be dealt with in Spring training.The red flag I see is that the Nats only play long ball period, look at their wins recently, all long ball, not a single win with manufactured runs or small ball. This is where they have problems that can not be fixed until a new manager is in place with a sound philosophy. In other words, its going to be live by the long ball, die by the long ball…just like basketball teams that live by the 3 pointer.

  67. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    David Wright not playing today. Guess that's a break for Taylor Jordan?

  68. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Davidwhy is Wright not playing? that is good news for Nats

  69. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Just a day off, I guess.

  70. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Nats need to take advantage of that…it would be 3 in row and 3 under with a win. I really hope they get back to focusing to getting base runners and trying to get 1 run at a time

  71. fast eddie - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    mick:Good analogy re: HRs and 3-pointer.Here's an interesting stat on the Braves: they lead the NL in HRs and K's. So they're living by the long ball while we're dying. Still, there are holes in their lineup: Heyward, Uggla and the Uptons and lots of fan discontent. They're catchable if we could start hitting.

  72. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    mick? I think it will be two under with a win.I really hope that not only does the team win, but that Taylor Jordon gets a win. I saw his folks in the stands for his first start. They looked like very intense baseball parents. Think they want their boy to get a win?

  73. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Joe S your correct, 2 under with a wineddie…interesting about Braves..I assume like many you saw the Braves vs Cards during rain delay yesterday… 2 things in that game…they finally scored on a few hits and the guy that came through was at .068 with RISP and Kimbrell is down right scaryI agree with you overall

  74. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    So is it basically a foregone conclusion that Jordan is in the rotation next year? Davey seemed to imply the other day that it's very likely.

  75. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    David…I would think that is correct…lets assume Haren is not back, and Det comes back 100%…then it gets down to Jordan or Ross O for 5th spots, unless Ross O will fill the long relief role with Stammen?

  76. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    or… lets say Haren finishes this season like an All star…that would really make it interesting

  77. fast eddie - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I was forced to watch the entire Braves/Cards game yesterday since I'm in Braves TV territory.They're very similar to us: outstanding pitching (SP and BP) and lousy hitting. They win a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games but could easily lose a bunch the same way.

  78. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Ross O isn't even under contract for next year so it's far from certain he'll be back. There's no way Haren is back. So the 5th spot has to go to either Jordan or a free agent. I don't think anyone else in the minors is ready yet.

  79. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    NY Post reporting that all Biogenesis suspensions are going to be announced this week. Let's hope Gio isn't one of them.

  80. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Davidgood points, I was not aware about Ross' contract. On that note about pitchers ready.. maybe someone can address the status of Cole and Giolota. i know Giolota is a projected super star but is only 17-18 and just had TJ surgery.. are there any others?

  81. mick - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    David…I hope Gio is indeed clear, that would suck to high heaven!

  82. baseballswami - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    We started the season concerned about the following– no back up pitching( TJ and Big O!), how would Drew react to his new role ( uh, AAA), Espi's hitting( same- AAA), would Gio get suspended( probably not), no lefty relievers- Abad and Krol), HRod( gone), would Ramos be ok ( yes, after a false start), and when would we see Rendon( way earlier than we thought). Instead of this year being a magic carpet ride to the World Series, it has been a roller coaster ride of tansitions. I feel that they are mostly improvements, though. Adjustments are being made – sometimes slower than we would like, but in the right direction? But it's no wonder things have not been easy with all the moving parts.

  83. JD - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    MickGiolito is a minimum of 3 years away.Cole was just promoted to AA though he was uneven at high A. There are still question marks as to whether he makes it as a starter or a closer.Kearns and Solis as well as Ray are also in the picture and Purke is finally healthy but getting beat up at high A.I hope we don't go the FA route next year.I wouldn't mind bringing Ross back as insurance but I would rather spend on JZimm and Desi.

Archives

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.

Follow us on Twitter