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Injury updates on Ohlendorf, Harper

Aug 1, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

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DETROIT — Lost amid the lopsided nature of yesterday's 11-1 loss to the Tigers and Bryce Harper's notable comments afterward were the in-game departures of both Harper and Ross Ohlendorf due to injury.

The good news: Neither Nationals player appears to be seriously hurt, and the club doesn't expect either issue to linger.

Harper winced after taking a swing in the top of the seventh, prompting manager Davey Johnson and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz to check on him. Harper, who said he felt a spasm in his hip, retook his position in the batter's box and struck out, then returned to left field for the bottom of the inning.

But when the bottom of the eighth arrived, with the NationalsRead more »

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    (from last thread)WODL, going on and on and on (and on and on) about Span said:Come bearing stats if you disagree. Otherwise, shut up.You know what? I have. Repeatedly. In fact, the most recent one I cited I'll cite again: Span is one of only six position players on the Nats that have a WAR of 1.0 or greater.Span could hit .500 the rest of the season and who careSo, stats really don't really matter to you.(Oh, and Nyjer's last season, which was last year, his WAR was 0.2)

  3. sjm308 - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Good Morning All!Another day off – Another day to see how WODL and others will trash our lads and see how Wonk and Proctor will defend them. Sort of establishing a pattern don't you think?Like most here we are all fans and display that in various ways. I prefer the positives to the negatives but you can't deny that LaRoche is slumping, Davey leaves his guys in way too long and resists platooning, and we are not having the year we all thought we would.I do love Wonk using actual facts and reading the tail end of last night we had Cwj bringing even more actual stats on the defensive value of our CF. Sad thing is, you won't change the mind of a bully.

  4. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Thank you, Wonk. I question why WODL chose Span to be his whipping boy and question his objectiveness.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    You guys actually read WODL posts?

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    You guys actually read comments? During losing streaks? What?

  7. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    On topic, hope that both guys are okay. Dorf really stepped up for the team in his recent start. If memory serves, his velocity was going down towards the end of that one.Speaking of ailments – any good news McCatty updates?

  8. hiramhover - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    WODL is a performance artist, and the comment thread is his medium. Remember back when Andy Kaufman declared himself a wrestler, trashed women, and offered $1000 to any woman who could pin him? That's WODL braying about statistics.

  9. fast eddie - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    No one has commented on Stras' observation after his last start. Paraphasing, "you have to be almost perfect", referring to the lack of hitting.Could this be a hint of a rift between pitchers and hitters?? It has to take a toll when you watch your hitters fail time after time.

  10. sjm308 - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Natsjack – you tried to work with me on scrolling past another certain poster. I fell back into a bad habit. Will have to regroup

  11. sjm308 - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Just wondering. Are there good teams out there that regularly platoon?

  12. alexva - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Ohlendorf seems like a good guy, and I hope I'm wrong on this, but I worry that he's not being 100% honest. the way he finished his last start with velo dropping so suddenly is as much a reason for my concern.

  13. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Yes I've started to read his posts even though I think they are biased. I will set up an automatic response borrowing from Wonk and SJMs recent posts anytime WODL uses Span in his.

  14. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Speaking of Strasburg, I finally realized that he chose Nuke Laloosh's number 37 for his.I suspect he is airing his frustrations as to lack of run support. The season is long and he is human too.

  15. Joe Seamhead - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:28 PM

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  16. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    So, since ALRs BABIP is below his and the league average, he soon returns to his normal unless he is hurting.

  17. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Add a question mark to my last post

  18. jeffwx - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Fast Eddie, from Fed Baseball, if you like that blog:The right-hander must have also come to expect a lack of run-support at this point. According to ESPN's calculations, after receiving just one run of support in tonight's outing, Strasburg has the lowest average run-support per start in the National League (2.71 RS) and the second-lowest in all of baseball amongst qualified starters behind only the Chicago White Sox' Chris Sale (2.63 RS). "We just haven't been scoring for him," Johnson told reporters, "That's been the problem all year long, we just have not scored for Stras for some reason."

  19. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Yes, by all means let's spend another hundred posts complaining about the attention [hogs] taking up space here. Plate discipline, people. Swing at [AB] strikes.

  20. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Plate discipline, people. Swing at [AB] strikes. Good call, sofa. I plead guilty at swinging at balls way off the mark (it's just that I'm so sure I can hit them! ;-) )

  21. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I don't have any trouble believing Ohlendorf's arm is dead-ish five days after his first long outing in years. He's not stretched out; why would he be? He's a long guy, not a starter. But this is a problem if he's going to BE a starter. Either he is on a short pitch count, or he can't go every five days. Both of those are problems if he's the fourth or fifth starter. Assuming they do not make a run in August, then they only have to get him to Labor Day, and they can call up some fresh arms to play out the last month, at least, but that's cold comfort.

  22. hiramhover - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

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  23. Joe Seamhead - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    As frustrating as this season has been in virtually all phases with this team,the one joy that I have gotten, and still do, is watching Span play centerfield. The guy is almost like a highly polished ballet performer in the way he glides to the ball. Additionally, with his range, he makes both corner outfielders better. As I said, his defense was the one thing on this team that we weren't frustrated with. I hope that he's here next year. Just Another Joe Seamhead Editorial

  24. hiramhover - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    On ALRHis BABIP is way down in July (.173, which is crazy low) but it would seem to be tied to a change in his LD rate, which was 12.9% in July and only 10.7% since the ASB, vs about 20.6% LD rate on his career. His FB % is correspondingly higher.He's not just being victimized by bad luck, in other words. Something more is going on.

  25. Dryw Loves the Nats - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Seamhead, agreed that watching Span in the field is one of the few guaranteed bright spots this year. If it's even close to catchable, Span will catch it! (And look good doing it.)

  26. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Strasburg has the lowest average run-support per start in the National League (2.71 RS) It's weird how that goes in cycles. Am I remembering right that JZ had one of the lowest run-supports last year?

  27. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I don't know of anybody who tracks the rate of checked swings for players, but it would be one measure of how well a hitter is seeing the ball, and just anecdotally, from watching, it seems like LaRoche is checking more often, and on worse pitches (i.e., less nasty, pitches you'd expect him to ID and either hit or take, as appropriate, if he were seeing the ball well).

  28. SCNatsFan - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    alexva, not so sure on Ross; he hadn't thrown that many pitches in awhile, I think not getting loose sounds pretty reasonable. I just hope he is OK, one of the few feel good stories of the season, hope it continues.

  29. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Does anybody track checked swings for comments? Eh, never mind.

  30. SCNatsFan - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    hiramhover you impress me with your stats. All I know is ALR has too many at bats he hits the ball so weakly.

  31. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Regarding Span (and, noting again how much more of the game and players one can see when you're actually at a game) — here's what I wrote in the comments after Game 3 this year regarding Span:There were a few shots by the Marlins that looked like potential trouble, but Denard Span looked speedy and smooth. Man, he covers a lot of ground. He glides. He made those catches look easy. Me like the new CF (not to mention his getting on base his first three at bats). So, I've only seen him in 9 innings, but, frankly, he looks like the best defensive outfielder the Nats have (if we exclude Bryce's arm).

  32. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Does anybody track checked swings for comments? Eh, never mind.I can never tell when you're joking. I'm not sure how to respond to that.Wait, I know what I should have said…

  33. hiramhover - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    SofaI don't know of anyone who tracks checked swings. Another way to get at it would be to look at contact rate, swings at pitches outside the zone, etc. I don't think fangraphs or anyone else does monthly splits for that, and his season #s are down slightly but not drastically from career averages.

  34. hiramhover - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    1aFunny stuff! That was not a whiff.

  35. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    So, it seems that checked swings is a growth opportunity. Interesting.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Plenty of posts in the last day on who is wrong for this team but if we use some of those suggestions there's 8 players left and 17 new players to find.

  37. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Which reminds me, I should dig out my old "Get a whiff of Deez Nats" tee shirt. I think I'm ready.

  38. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Ghost, indeed. Imagine what it's like in Philly!

  39. fast eddie - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Jeffwx:Thanks for the stats on lack of run support for Stras. At some point, the frustration turns to "I'm doing my job; when are you gonna start doing yours?"

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    SCNats…..re:ALR….I think you got it right except I'd say "he hits the ball weekly,

  41. Joe Seamhead - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    LOL ,Jack!

  42. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Absolutely typical of this year- we beat a team, with the record for either most runs scored, or largest differential or some such thing. Then just days later our last season Cy Young candidate starter breaks his own record for runs given up. They are just all over the place. Way too much drama on and off the field this season.

  43. SCNatsFan - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Right you are Jack

  44. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Ghost, indeed. Imagine what it's like in Philly!Oh my. They didn't make any moves before the trading deadline.And they've lost 9 of their last 10.You'd probably need a IronMan suit to venture into some of their comment sections!

  45. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Absolutely typical of this year- we beat a team, with the record for either most runs scored, or largest differential or some such thing. Then just days later our last season Cy Young candidate starter breaks his own record for runs given up. Yep — or having our recent three-game win streak occur when our starters were: Ohlie, Haren, and TyJo (our entire pitching staff allowing only three runs during those three games).Which was preceded by an 11-0 drubbing.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    1 Ryan Zimmerman .312/.399/.507/.9062 Wilson Ramos .308/.357/.564/.9213 Ian Desmond .308/.369/.471/.8404 Bryce Harper .295/.404/.511/.9155 Denard Span .288/.347/.432/.7796 Jayson Werth .263/.357/.424/.7817 Steve Lombo .260/.259/.351/.6108 Anthony Rendon .234/.298/.338/.6359 Danny Espinosa .226/.250/.434/.68410 Adam LaRoche .222/.333/.412/.74511 Kurt Suzuki .209/.250/.319/.56912 Tyler Moore .208/.259/.377/.63613 Roger Bernadina .160/.250/.200/.45014 Chad Tracy .154/.175/.179/.354This is your team leaders with batting with men on base.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    fast eddie said… Jeffwx:Thanks for the stats on lack of run support for Stras. At some point, the frustration turns to "I'm doing my job; when are you gonna start doing yours?" August 01, 2013 9:26 AM Everything Strasburg said is correct. I think to be fair since the All Star game, the Nats have only faced 2 "average" pitchers and a bunch of Aces. Strasburg can't expect much run support when you are facing Anibal Sanchez and the same for Gio facing Verlander or Haren facing Harvey.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Ruben Amaro will have his entire team on the waiver wires and will see who he can get rid of that way.I'm sure he tried to get rid of Cliff Lee but wouldn't eat enough salary. His only other trade chips were Michael Young, Utley and Chooch and none of them seemed to pleased to leave the City Of Brotherly Love.

  49. JD - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    fast eddie, This entire conversation about run support for individual pitchers is nonsense. All baseball people understand that the W/L record of a given pitcher is a misleading stat and whether a given pitcher gets run support or not is out of their control. This is why it drives me nuts when I hear Davie say something like: I left him for a couple more hitters because he pitched so well and I tried to get him the win (I am paraphrasing).

  50. JD - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Ghost, Everyone will put everyone on waivers just to see what happens but as far as Amaro is concerned I am not so sure he is anxious to break up the team; just doesn't strike as that kind of GM. As far as Lee was concerned it wasn't about money. He asked the Red Sox for their SS prospect who is considered much better than Iglesias so the Red Sox went the Peavy road instead.

  51. JD - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I would be curious if anyone puts in a claim on ALR or Soriano. I bet you no one takes either one of our hands unless we eat at least half of their salaries. Don't expect any serious prospects in return either.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    JD, I hadn't heard anything credible on what the Red Sox had discussed on Cliff Lee. Teams also look at Cliff Lee's age as he turns 35 at the end of this month, and 2007 was the last time he missed significant time due to an injury. On his next start he will join the 2,000 innings club.I have to think at some point under his current contract he might not be so lucky with his durability. $27.5 million vesting option in 2016.

  53. fast eddie - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Ghost:I get that we won't beat the "aces" every time–but do we ever beat the Sanchezes and Verlanders? And what about the journeymen and rookie pitchers who shut us down? I don't have the stats, but it's been happening all year. It drives me crazy.

  54. fast eddie - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    JD:I understand your point that W/L records for pitchers is misleading. It's still human nature to want to be on the plus side. Stras is 5-9 with 3.04 ERA. Don't you think he'd trade that for 9-5 with 3.54 ERA? I would.

  55. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Check what Mejia did for the Mets yesterday (granted it was the Marlins).He's been pretty good when on the bump for them.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    fast eddie – Nats have won the last 2 times Harvey has pitched. The worst is when they make a pitcher look like Cy Young like Freddy Garcia who by the way got DFA'd a few starts later.

  57. JD - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Ghost, When you are 52- 56 it's not one thing and it's not 5. The team has been in some form of disarray all year and they haven't been able to put humpty dumpty back together again. I put this mostly on Davie.

  58. Section 222 - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    This is why it drives me nuts when I hear Davie say something like: I left him for a couple more hitters because he pitched so well and I tried to get him the win (I am paraphrasing).Boy do I agree with that. The worst was when he left Taylor Jordan in for the 8th against the Pirates when the Nats trailed 3-1, wanting to give him a chance to win (i.e., keep him as the pitcher of record for the bottom of the 8th) He went on to give up a homer to Alvarez and another run, putting the game on ice.

  59. Alphabet Soup Erik - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    The bottom line is that this team is not nearly as talented as we all thought they were last year. Every team that has won a World Series has had a Hall of Fame player. Many had more than one. The only teams that you can't say that for sure about were the 2010 and 2012 Giants and the 2007 Phillies, but Posey sure appears to be on his way, and Utley was playing at that level (only Mays, Pujols, Yastrzemski, Aaron, Bonds, Boggs and Schmidt had higher WAR from age 26-30). I guess the point is that the Nationals have nobody close right now and only Strasburg and Harper have any shot to be that kind of player, so maybe they should think about going out to get a Robinson Cano or David Price. History sure seems to suggest that you need the great ones to win. A collection of good-very good players doesn't quite seem like enough to get it done.

  60. bowdenball - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    And we beat Sanchez when the Tigers visited Nats Park earlier this year. The idea that we beat a certain type of pitcher more or less than you'd expect is total nonsense. There no such thing as a "type of pitcher," because all non-aces are not created equally. This is a case of confirmation bias- we get frustrated when the Nats can't beat what we see as a certain category of pitcher, be it an ace or a journeyman, so we remember all the times a loss fits the pattern and forget all the times a win doesn't. And we also categorize based on results. A decent #3 or #4 starter beats the Nats? Oh, he's just a "journeyman," why can't the Nats beat those guys?

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    JD said… Ghost,When you are 52- 56 it's not one thing and it's not 5. The team has been in some form of disarray all year and they haven't been able to put humpty dumpty back together again. I put this mostly on Davie. Davey certainly made his fair share of mistakes and I also believe he had a big part on personnel decisions but I think there is enough blame to go around.

  62. Depot Master - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Back to the actual article subject. Ohlendorf had a 10MPH drop in velocity during his last inning of his previous outing. Carp and FP noticed it immediately and commented, lauding him for giving his team everything he had.Did it really take Davey until the next time he saw him pitch to notice?

  63. Depot Master - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Back to the actual article subject. Ohlendorf had a 10MPH drop in velocity during his last inning of his previous outing. Carp and FP noticed it immediately and commented, lauding him for giving his team everything he had.Did it really take Davey until the next time he saw him pitch to notice?

  64. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    When you are 52- 56 it's not one thing and it's not 5. The team has been in some form of disarray all year and they haven't been able to put humpty dumpty back together again. I put this mostly on Davie. Well, a few threads ago I listed nine things. I don't see how it can possibly be "mostly on" Davey.1. Key injuries (Harper, Ramos, Detwiler)2. Danny completely regressing3. Span hitting .100 lower against lefties than his lifetime average4. ALR having his worst ever April slump, and then another one in July5. Bernadina dropping over .100 points6. Tyler Moore dropping over .100 points7. Chad Tracy dropping almost .100 points8. Desmond and RZ dropping in SLG9. Bryce Harper hitting .193 against lefties

  65. Alphabet Soup Erik - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    It speaks volumes about this organization that they allow Ohlendorf, a guy who has been in the bullpen all year, to throw 114 pitches, yet they treat Strasburg like a glass egg. I guarantee you the players notice the double standard!!!

  66. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Well, a few threads ago I listed nine things. I don't see how it can possibly be "mostly on" Davey.The point is, Wonk, that when the going gets tough, the tough point fingers. You are what your record says you are. You don't have a record until after the games are played. As Bill Klem used to say, "It ain't nothing until I call it."

  67. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I have a prediction. The very minute the Nats are mathematically eliminated they will start playing for the joy of the game again. We will see the team we have been missing.

  68. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Every team that has won a World Series has had a Hall of Fame player.I understand your point, and I don't disagree, but I immediately thought: Ernie BanksBilly WilliamsRon SantoFergie JenkinsKen Holtzman (no HOF, but 2 no-hitters and a few rings with Oakland)I think I'm still getting over 1969.

  69. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    " Plenty of posts in the last day on who is wrong for this team but if we use some of those suggestions there's 8 players left and 17 new players to find." Not too far off. I would, for sure, keep seven of the eight day-to-day players, with the exception being LaRoche. The entire bench needs to go. I would keep Strasburg, Z'mann and Detwiler (hoping for good health), and Gonzalez, but only for one year while we see if he ever grows up. Soriano is overpaid — he has no business being the highest paid RP in the MLs –and, hopefully, superfluous. Mattheus seems to have regressed (and not due to injury). Clippard is the one essential member of the BP. Krol, Abad and Stammen are useful and Ohlendorf might be useful if (A) he has truly reinvented himself and (B) he is not injury prone. With those big question marks he is expendable.So, among the current members on the 25-man roster there are 15 keepers and ten slots that need to be upgraded. I don't think the problem is with a lack of talent among the core of the team but there is a striking lack of maturity, accountability, and willingness to subordinate individual achievements to the best interests of the team. Among the core of the team, at this moment, the only players I'll give a pass are Werth, Span (under-achiever but not a headcase), Ramos, Rendon, Soriano (though he's not worth $28 MM), Detwiler (because injured) and Clippard. Assuming a complete overhaul of the bench, if there's another season like this one I would be ready to blow it up and try again.

  70. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    It speaks volumes about this organization that they allow Ohlendorf, a guy who has been in the bullpen all year, to throw 114 pitches, yet they treat Strasburg like a glass egg. I guarantee you the players notice the double standard!!!I don't doubt that they notice it, but I wonder if they are as bothered by it as all that. Strasburg is still young, with the possibility of a really good career ahead of him, and the Nationals have a lot of money sunk into him already. None of that is true for Ohlendorf. It makes sense they'd be more protective of one than the other. Are they over-doing it with Strasburg? Maybe. But it's not crazy. I'm not in the locker room, so I have no insight at all into what the individuals there are thinking, but I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't too upset on Ross's behalf. Storen, maybe, at least in one case; maybe even Lannan, last year.

  71. SCNatsFan - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    We should trade our international bonus money… it dooesn't seem like we will use it.

  72. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I realize I neglected to account for Taylor Jordan. I've previously expressed that I don't think he's ready to be in the Opening Day — rotation — though maybe by mid-season — so his spot, in my mind, is one that needs to be filled.

  73. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    there is a striking lack of maturity, accountability, and willingness to subordinate individual achievements to the best interests of the team.I'm curious who you have in mind here, since you except the guys you named as keepers. Harper seemed to be implying something similar, but there's no way he's naming any names, I think.

  74. fast eddie - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    DC Wonk:I agree this is mainly on the hitters–Davey doesn't swing the bat. In fact, I recall watching Ted Williams take BP when he managed the Senators. At 58, he still hit line drives–unfortunately, he couldn't teach it to the Eddie Brinkmans and Tim Cullens.

  75. SCNatsFan - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Erik, show me a team that treats all players equally and I'll be amazed. There is just so much more money invested in the 'superstars'. Remember the guy who got traded from Atlanta to Boston and they blew his arm out in middle relief as the Sox went for the pennant? Oh sorry, that was 'trouble with the curve'.

  76. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    the only players I'll give a pass are Werth, Span (under-achiever but not a headcase), Ramos, Rendon, Soriano (though he's not worth $28 MM), Detwiler (because injured) and Clippard.Wait, not Ian Desmond? And I'm assuming Harper just went without saying?

  77. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    It speaks volumes about this organization that they allow Ohlendorf, a guy who has been in the bullpen all year, to throw 114 pitches, yet they treat Strasburg like a glass egg.Phooey. Stras is only 25. And, btw, has thrown 110+ pitches nine times already this year, including 118 just last week. Ohlie is age 30, and has thrown 110+ pitches before this season and is surely aware that he is not the young hopeful pitching star of the future for the club.

  78. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Assuming they are correct — that there is no Ohlendorf injury — then I don't think he has been treated unkindly in comparison to Strasburg. His reaction to throwing 114 pitches surely was no shock — neither was it anticipated. So he rests and comes back in a few days. (At that point we find out if he's really a mid-90s pitcher.) The guy who really gets the kid glove treatment is Gonzalez. Remember a couple of weeks ago Johnson pulled him after one run in six innings and 98 pitches because he'd pitched 100+ in his previous start. Gimme a break. The guy's 27-28 years old. The danger after 100 pitches isn't a sore arm, it's brain freeze (although some days it arrives much sooner).

  79. Section 222 - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    It speaks volumes about this organization that they allow Ohlendorf, a guy who has been in the bullpen all year, to throw 114 pitches, yet they treat Strasburg like a glass egg. I guarantee you the players notice the double standard!!!Nah. First of all, Ohlie was a starter in Syracuse. Before he was called up, he had made 12 starts, and in five of those he made 100 or more pitches. His first appearance was a spot start. He had pitched 6 innings and 88 pitches in relief 5 days before his spot start against the Mets. So he was plenty "stretched out." He's also a veteran pitcher; Stras was not.

  80. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Sofa — Desmond will not get a pass until he stops flailing at pitches out of the strike zone. Last weekend FP noted that he'd actually taken a few first pitches — not sure if that has continued. But he's largely spent the first two-thirds of the season wasting strikes and, therefore, ABs. Harper gets no pass, either, because he resisted coming out of the lineup/going on the DL while he was hurt, turning a minor injury into 30 days off and, apparently, lingering injury-impaired performance. Also because of his Little League run-until-you're tagged out base-running, which has given away more outs than he's gained bases. I don't give a pass to LaRoche, either, just in case you're interested, not because of attitude or lack of accountability but simply because this team can't afford a player with his skill set and streakiness. I was very happy they re-signed him but it turns out they made the wrong decision.

  81. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    I think MLB players expect to be treated unequally–it's part of the culture. Rookies get hazed, and don't get privileges established stars get, like not riding busses in spring training. Veterans get calls. Big-contract guys are expected to pay for dinners sometimes. The unwritten rules describe a very hierarchical system. But within that system, certain things are expected; being "disrespected" is a big deal. I just don't think leaving a long guy in for 114 pitches , who's pitching about as well as he possibly can, in a spot start, in a game the team needs, is seen as disrespect. Maybe even just the opposite.

  82. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Re: Desmond — you can't "ambush" first pitches, or anything else, if they know you're coming. That's not being aggressive, it's dumb.

  83. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Agree w/ Sofa re: Ohlendorf's start. After starting in Syracuse and lasting seven great innings last week I bet he felt loved.

  84. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Fair enough, Theo. You're stricter than I am, but those are reasons.

  85. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I am sticking by the team no matter what, but yes, there are things I do not like to see. Pretty sad when the manager thinks the season is a bust and is dreaming of Bora Bora and the youngest player on the team wants to fight, even though he is probably the most banged up. Davey needs to suck it up or give the new manager the same gift he got– a head start.

  86. nats guy - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Span is smooth as glass. He doesn't have to make dramatic catches like the shark because he runs great routes to the ball, tracks the ball wal, and plays hitters very well. He is what playing CF should look like. No wasted energy. Get a look at what Joe DiMaggio or Willie Mays looked like. Smooth!

  87. nats guy - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    I actually happen to think that was a great trade. I think he'll do better next year just from learning the NL pitchers.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Well said, nats guy….well said.

  89. bowdenball - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    baseballswami said…"I am sticking by the team no matter what, but yes, there are things I do not like to see. Pretty sad when the manager thinks the season is a bust"He said it was "looking like bust," but that they were still in it.I HATE when people blow an athlete, coach or front office person's comments out of proportion like this. Davey was speaking candidly and honestly. If the fans turn it into a huge story every time one of these people says something at all negative or unorthodox, we're basically just asking them all to revert to cliches and/or media silence. I hate that a lot more than an occasional slight that comes with being honest and accessible instead of a cliche-spouting robot.

  90. John C. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Thanks, Bowdenball, for correcting Davey's quote and giving context. Although let's face it, anything Davey says is going to be criticized. If he says "looking like a bust" he is being negative, throwing in the towel, etc. If he says "we're still in it" then he's accused of sitting on his hands or being asleep/not in touch with reality. The constant? The manager is an idiot!Which is a constant in baseball, FWIW. I don't know a single fan base that truly likes and trusts their manager (if Tampa had a fan base, Maddon might qualify). WS winning managers Bochy and Girardi are constantly criticized and second guessed on fan pages. It's an occupational hazard – when you become an MLB manager, you instantly become one of the 30 dumbest people in the world :D

  91. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    bowdenball, I am with you. In spring of 2012, Davey said the team was good enough to win the Division (or something like that). No one cared, no one believed him. I bet if you hunted around you could find a dozen things GMs or managers said around spring training when hopes were high–Lotta people picked the Blue Jays, Angels etc. What was Davey supposed to say, Yeah, we're not saying anything about the World Series, just gonna play the games…. That's not his style.

  92. slidell2 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Regarding the seeming diffidence of this year's performance- I believe that psychology is very important in a group's performing up to their abilities, whether in a business or in a team sport. I know there will be howling, but the absence of Morse IS a key. Joy and enthusiasm is infectious; Morse did more than his share in spreading it. I don't see a whole lot of enthusiasm and assuredness in the Nats batters' aspects. Even with Harper, it seems grim determination has replaced confidence.

  93. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    You can't be a good manager, nevermind a baseball manager, to the extent you are afraid of being spectacularly wrong. You have to be able to take the punches. And it pretty much is looking like bust, after all.

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    slidell2…. Don't tell that to Brian Kenny on MLB Network. To him psychology and emotion have nothing to do with it. It's all in the numbers.

  95. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I know there will be howling, but the absence of Morse IS a key. Joy and enthusiasm is infectious; Morse did more than his share in spreading it. I happen to agree that the group dynamic can affect performance; I'm agnostic on the effect of Morse's affect. But we can't replay this season, with Morse, so we'll never know. Which is what makes it an inconvenient premise for fantasy baseball stuff. How do you plug that into running a million simulations?

  96. nats guy - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Nats Jack,Thats what I hate about this generation of fan. They treat it like a video game not a game of very human players who fail, have injuries, and do stupid things from time to time. Stats are great and are a major part of why I love baseball but they don't represent the whole picture.

  97. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    But if Davey is such a great psychologist, why did he want LaRoche instead of Morse–that is, if Morse was such a key to the team chemistry. From the glimmerings we get, LaRoche is fun and funny also, and a bit of a prankster. The team had "fun" — remember the McCatty tee shirt. The grim team that you see now is the result of not winning, if they were winning they would be laughing. That's how it works. You think there was team chemistry among all those prima donnas in LA? Nope. Are they laughing together now. Yep. Bottom line, you get the best players you can. Chemistry will happen if they perform.

  98. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    nats guy, I love restaurant reviews, recipes, and well-written and printed menus. But they aren't food. They tell me a lot about food, but I can eat, without them. They can't exist without the food. I don't think most stats folks privilege stats over the games, but some folks do seem to confuse the two.

  99. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    The exception is when you have a "cancer" in the clubhouse, and no one's given any indication there is one among this set.

  100. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    That's why I think people who play the game have insights people who never did, don't have.

  101. John C. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Actually, Sec3:But we can't replay this season, with Morse, so we'll never know. Which is what makes it an inconvenient premise for fantasy baseball stuff.But it exactly what makes it SO convenient for pulpit-pounding pontification! I love me some Beast Mode, and was firmly in the "Morse for 1b, let ALR go for the draft pick" camp. That said, I knew he was not good defensively, and an injury risk. And I have been very pleased with the return they got for him. But leaving all that aside, "Morsitanians" who argue that Morse wouldn't have been as injured or struggled as much if he had only stayed in Nats Town, completely ignore any possibility that he could have been worse/more injured in Nats Town than he has been in Seattle. Nope, it would only have been sunshine and roses (and good health and dingerz) if Morse had stayed here. Horse nostrils. But untestable, so the drumbeat never ends.

  102. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Sec 3, I'm not a person who researches my food, but I take your point. And that's why I don't think Span is going anywhere. He fills a big hole in CF (whether or not he leads off). Your eyes–or at least my eyes–love to watch him out there.

  103. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    NatsLady, agreed. I am firmly on record here as loving to watch the first proper center fielder this team ever had.

  104. bowdenball - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    You guys know Morse isn't out of baseball, right? He's on another team. If your theory about how much his attitude helped was correct, shouldn't that team be winning, or at least exceeding projections like we did last year thanks to his joy and enthusiasm pixie dust?

  105. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    That's the other beautiful part of unprovable hypotheses, bball–Seattle is a different circumstance, maybe they didn't need a toilet-duster there.

  106. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said…That's why I think people who play the game have insights people who never did, don't have.=====Okay – so I played for 1 season… And sat for another (I sucked at baseball.. Was scared of the ball). So where do I stand???? *snickers*

  107. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Sec 3, I agree with that also. I don't like Davey leaving pitchers in to get their "wins," but it means something to pitchers. I understand that RBIs are more a matter of opportunity than skill–but RBIs win games. The problem is when management is evaluating players on a different skill than they are aiming for–e.g., a pitcher is distraught over wins but has a terrific FIP, keeps his team in the game, etc. Or a position player who is discouraged at his batting average while management likes his OBP, the quality of his at-bats, pitches seen and the like. This was discussed at length in KLaw's podcast Tuesday with a former player. I think something like that happened with Storen. He evaluated himself as a closer (and the arb system does, too, unfortunately) rather than as a key guy who needed to keep games close, make his pitches and let other guys on the team do their jobs. I'd have to check, but it seems to me he was better at taking care of other people's jams (being the "hero") than his own.

  108. Section 222 - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Well said John C. And there are even people who complain about using Take on Me as our 7th inning song, as if that has any impact on anything. I loved Morse too. I would have been fine with keeping him as our 1B if ALR had signed elsewhere. But the reasons for trading him made sense and as you say, the return was pretty darn good. And remember, if he had stayed, he'd be gone after this year, particularly if he played well, and we wouldn't have Cole or Krol for the future. To me the problem with this team is not the roster Rizzo constructed, or clubhouse chemistry. It's plain and simple under-performance across a wide range of players. And frankly, that includes Harper, who's been far from a superstar (.235/.337/.412/.749) in the 44 games he's played since he ran into that wall in Atlanta. (In the 27 games before that his slashline was .337/.427/.705/1.133.)

  109. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Brian Kenny is the William O. Douglas Loeffler of MLB Network.

  110. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    JohnC – I was and am firmly in the re-sign Adam and let Morse go camp as I felt that Morse was a bad OF, mediocre 1st baseman, who was unreliable as he was injury prone…. However, I wished him well… I hoped he would tear it up with Seattle… I also thought that T Moore would make gains (for some reasons Morse and Moore remind me of each other – I think they are identical playing twins) and would take over for Adam after his contract was over…

  112. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Some of us actually take the time to go around and read what more knowledgeable people have to say about baseball. I know it won't convince any of the people on here who are more concerned with stats like "Span is hitting .477 in his last 12 at bats," and the like, but there actually are people who are trying to understand baseball better, and who avoid statements of ignorant affirmation "I don't like Harper at lead-off" and the like. Look at Morgan's entire time with the Nats and compare his stats with Span's, and you can do it with many of the other light hitting outfielders that the Nats have signed. None of them does much to move the needle. Now, people are claiming that the Span signing was never intended to be a significant one, only a nice little pick-up, because of course 98 game winners put nice little pick-ups into the outfield for little or no apparent reason all the time.And yes, we are in garbage time. Garbage time can be instructive and if somehow Span blips up, then we will all hear from the same crown about how great he is and what a genius Rizzo was for signing him, and where would we have been without Mr. X.I will look at any data or links anyone can bring but I expect more so to see the general ad hominem attacks that the peace and love segment of Nats Insiders continually engage in.http://natstradamus.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/im-sorry-nats-town/

  113. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Actually, one could argue that it's merely a lack of data on "team chemistry."Say Team 1 needs a slugging first baseman–there are data that will tell you that, or at least strongly imply it. Now move him to Team 2, who already has someone in that role, and you have to play this slugging first baseman in left field (just to invent an example), where he is not comfortable, not very good, and it throws his whole game off, which leaves the team with a not-slugging left fielder.Maybe the toilet-dusting works like that. There's no data on clubhouse chemistry, so of course the models can't address it, whether it's a real effect or not.

  114. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Dang technology – but JohnC – I thought the bigger lost was Bo Porter… He and Davey were solid opposites that complimented each other… Where DI is laid back, Bo was on top of things….I never lived in the group who thought the 'soft' ST was a problem as I didnt see where things were different this year vs last…Also, regarding Span – I like him and think he is a wonderful CFer…. He is fast, runs great routes and I think he and J Werth can really teach Harp how to play the OF… I'm glad he is on the team, but I think he only serves his 2 years and Goodwin is bought up…NatsJack – can you provide insight on Goodwin…

  115. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Okay – so I played for 1 season… And sat for another (I sucked at baseball.. Was scared of the ball). So where do I stand???? *snickers* My managers always found it awkward to have to explain why I wasn't starting even though we only had nine players. Seriously, that's why segregated sports is not trivial, it's a serious injustice to not let people play because of the shape of their skin.

  116. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    It seems like Schu has helped Span.

  117. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    "But if Davey is such a great psychologist, why did he want LaRoche instead of Morse–that is, if Morse was such a key to the team chemistry."The answer is that Johnson wanted both. No manager says, "I don't mind getting rid of a .300 hitter" who coincidentally happens to be a good clubhouse guy. Instead, he says, "I'll find a way to keep him busy." Like Lombardozzi last year Johnson would have found a way to get Morse 400 PA.The LaRoche/Morse either-or decision has its roots in the front office, not the dugout. Likely the Nats diminished (per MASN) revenue position had much to do with it. Rizzo believed he wasn't going to have the money to pay Morse in 2014 so was panicked at the idea he wouldn't get anything in return. The theoretical replacement of $6.5MM with $400K (Moore) no doubt appealed as well, although Soriano shows that the organization wasn't averse to spending money. (Maybe we can blame Boras and Lerner for that.) Thankfully they got Cole back. Not sure he was worth this year's el foldo but I am encouraged by the thought he might compete for a slot in next year's rotation, and certainly for 2015. Considering the roughly $2.2MM cost of Morse for the rest of the season, compared to the cost of Hairston for this year and next, don't you wish the Nats had traded Pineyro for Morse instead?

  118. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    People who are looking for Goodwin to supplant/make people forget Span are at risk for a serious disappointment. So far, the only demonstrated difference between Goodwin and Bernadina is that, at age 35, Goodwin will possess the minimal qualifications to be President.

  119. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Re: Goodwin…He has talent but the development process seems extremely slow. He also still exhibits maturity issues.

  120. A DC Wonk - Aug 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  121. Ishmael - Aug 1, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    "Ohlendorf seems like a good guy, and I hope I'm wrong on this, but I worry that he's not being 100% honest. the way he finished his last start with velo dropping so suddenly is as much a reason for my concern."Boy, do I agree with this. You'd think Ohlendorf, with his age and injury history, would be honest, but I'm still worried he's seriously hurt. I'd get an MRI pronto.

  122. jw - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    WODL — I looked at the Natstradamus blog for your posting on Span vis a vis other Nats centerfielders. I was hoping I'd see your analysis of their fielding percentages, as well as their hitting. http://natstradamus.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/im-sorry-nats-town/

  123. Mythical Monkey - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    1. Key injuries (Harper, Ramos, Detwiler)2. Danny completely regressing3. Span hitting .100 lower against lefties than his lifetime average4. ALR having his worst ever April slump, and then another one in July5. Bernadina dropping over .100 points6. Tyler Moore dropping over .100 points7. Chad Tracy dropping almost .100 points8. Desmond and RZ dropping in SLG9. Bryce Harper hitting .193 against lefties DC Wonk, here are a few more for your list:10. Drew Storen, ERA+ off 105 points11. Dan Haren, worst year as a major leaguer12. Zach Duke, 8.71 ERA13. Henry Rodriguez becoming full-time Bad Henry14. Kurt Suzuki, worst OPS+ of his career15. Steve Lombardozzi, 56 OPS+It's just one of those years. In 2012, a bunch of guys had career years, this season it seems like too many guys are having career worst years. I'm thinking next year, the two seasons average out and we're in the playoffs.

  124. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I have absolutely no proof of this – non whatsoever, I just feel in my gut that signing Soriano upset some kind of balance in the clubhouse. Chemistry is delicate. So happy to hear Jayson want faces eaten, Desi sometimes fiery, Clip , Harper. So tired of the " it was just a hiccup", " have to tip your cap" mentality. I know they are laid back guys, but do some of them even have a pulse?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
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ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
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NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
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