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Game 109: Nats at Brewers

Aug 2, 2013, 8:27 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images

Throughout the season's first half, there was no more sure thing on the Nationals roster than Jordan Zimmermann, who enjoyed a breakthrough three months to earn his first career All-Star berth and thrust himself into the early conversation for NL Cy Young honors. But then came July, and all of a sudden Zimmermann has looked quite ordinary on the mound; over his last five starts, he's 1-3 with a 7.18 ERA.

The Nationals could certainly use a bounce-back performance from Zimmermann tonight against the Brewers, and the right-hander himself would like nothing more than to deliver a dominant outing in his home state of Wisconsin and give his team a chance to right its ship after a terrible series in Detroit to begin the week.

The Brewers, playing without the suspended Ryan Braun, send a familiar face to the mound tonight in Tom Gorzelanny. The former Nats reliever has taken over starting duties in Milwaukee and has pitched well, going 2-4 with a 2.83 ERA.

I'm not in Milwaukee for the series, but please enjoy the conversation as always here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Where: Miller Park
Gametime: 8:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 182
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (52-56)
LF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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334 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    The broken record is back

  2. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    I thought Vince Coleman and Joe Morgan were great runners, but Denard Span now has ten stolen bases in only 15 attempts. That works out to a .667 percentage. Not too shabby!

  3. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Rendon is a great looking ballplayer. He is fine. Anyone who worries about Rendon knows ZERO about baseball.

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Has Bernadina just given. Up. He K looking a lot thos season it appears.

  5. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Hard to decide which ballpark is worse, Miami's or Milwaukee's… People from Milwaukee probably think it is great….

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Can he barrel one up?

  7. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    I think most people are worried about Rendon in the short-term, not the long-term.Good job Anthony. He needed that.

  8. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Good job Rendon

  9. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Did they give a status update on Gorzy yet?

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    SWEET!!

  11. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    One idiot was saying Rendon had no business being on this team. He is a keeper.

  12. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Good job Rendon… Hopefully that will 'get him going….'Ramos running is laughable… But I love it!

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Yes. The X rays were negative.

  14. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    One of our most well-played games in a while, knock on wurst….

  15. Secret wasian man - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Nice step. Strike zone is wide.

  16. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Oh great…. Thanks NJ…

  17. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    8 wins in row! Everyone said that a big win streak was coming.

  18. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    FP is hilarious….

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    I'm not sure 3 runs is enough with Mattheus coming in.

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Milwaukee almost made the World Series two years ago. This must be so humiliating for them to lose to us at home, but then again, they were cheating. The Milwaukee Cheaters, but of course Selig will go easy on them since they used to be his daughter's team. Braun should be banned for life but he gets a tap on the wrist.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Relievers have to throw strikes.

  22. Knoxville Nat - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Have faith NJ, have faith!

  23. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Come on Mattheus – make us believe….

  24. Knoxville Nat - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Come on Mattheus don't make me look like an idiot.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Great split. That's new for Ryan.

  26. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Relievers need to get outs.

  27. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Great inning for Ryan Mattheus! Starting to knock the rust off.

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Great inning. I'm impressed.

  29. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Nice inning for Mattheus.. let's hope it is the start of something

  30. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Great job Mattheus…. Great job!

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Mattheus steps up!

  32. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Werth only goes 3-4. Cut the overpaid bum. #Werthless.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    David Wright injured his hammy.

  34. JaneB - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    Why does Braun get to play but ARod gets banned for life? It's only a rumor that that's what will happen but still…

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Ian Desmond had 49 RBI'S at the All Star break. He now has 53.

  36. JaneB - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    And I want us to get to October and stick a while, while we still have Clip. No one deserves it more. Not even RZimm.

  37. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Clippard was due to give up a run eventually. I'm just glad it was a solo shot with a 3 run lead.

  38. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    It is not July any more so Clippard can give up a run.

  39. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    DP — let's hope that's ALL he gives up. He's been so lights-out lately…

  40. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Now this is the problem. After the homer he follows up with a 4 pitch walk. Makes no sense as hot as he has been.

  41. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    He was around the edge of the zone on three of the four. Not terrible calls but very close.

  42. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Come on Clip…

  43. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Close is just that…… close

  44. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Clip didnt take a peak over at all.McCatty next spring must make holding runners an emphasis.

  45. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Good job Clippard. Solo HR is no big deal, it was going to happen eventually. Walk was the bigger issue.

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Good come back.

  47. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Whew… I tell ya Clip is something else… Whew…

  48. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    MNF — just saying he wasn't wild. He wasn't going to get anyone looking so just needed to get swing and miss stuff. Which he got.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Nice. Throwing strikes works every time.

  50. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    So we get BOTH of the Brewers' ex-Nat lefties.And DSpan gets a seeing-eye double down the LF line. About time we started getting some bounces.

  51. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Let's get that run back.

  52. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    Span looked like me playing tennis with that lob.Ramos nice hit.Now Hairston.

  53. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    So D Span is 10 for his last 18? Who knew?

  54. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    See that's a spot where Hairston has to do better. I excuse Hairston becaue Davey has been putting him against righties. But this was in against a lefty in an RBI spot. He has to succeed in those spots.

  55. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Unh…. I just think I'm not a fan of Hairston….

  56. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Not wodl

  57. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    Thanks Ricky.

  58. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Thought that was a better frame than pitch…Way to go Bryce… Both our Lhbs did something against this LHP….

  59. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    And Michael Morse went 2 for 4 raising his average to .245. For the floundering Mariners.

  60. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    I mean 12 hits…. Gosh, I want more than 4 runs…

  61. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    Rendon hits another ball hard right to somebody. He's been very unlucky.

  62. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    Rendon hits it hard again right at someone.

  63. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Span now .271

  64. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    MRs B — at least we got four. That great pitching game by Stras in the Dodgers game we had 10 hits and ONE run.

  65. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    NatsJack's rule for relievers. Throw strikes. The outs will take care of themselves.

  66. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    You're right, SE…. I'm just so starved for runs… But of course – I'll take the curly W…

  67. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    Tucked up here boss. Sorry I'm late.

  68. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Untuck

  69. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    And lets not discuss that Dodgers series… I get pissed thinking about how DJ got out-managed…

  70. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    When Soriano has a good slider going, he's very good. When he can't command the slider, he's…not.He had a great one tonight.

  71. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Oh yeah – Curly W!!!! Yes!!!!!

  72. Steady Eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Mrs B — not just out-managed. Please could I have a sac fly, sir?One game, one win at a time.

  73. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Here's to Haren keeping the ball down tomorrow… And I hope his cutter is cutting…Glad for the win… See ya tomorrow!

  74. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    NatsJack – first pitch strikes – first batter outWe do that the game is so much easierI will complain slightly since this was a nice win. How long will Rizzo stay with this bench?? You have 3 men hitting under .180!! I realize that Bernadina can play some defense and if he was the only black hole I could probably live with that. Are you guys telling me we have no one in our minor leagues that can come up and hit .220 or so? I guess this is not the time to make major changes in your clubhouse but I just think we need something to happen. Neither Hairston nor Bernadina even put the ball in play. OK, complaint over and back to hoping against hope that this wild card race will come back our way.Go Nats!!

  75. David Proctor - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    https://twitter.com/recordsANDradio/status/363511332529635328/photo/1Notice the initials on his cap. GR. For Gavin Rupp.

  76. SonnyG10 - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    Ray Knight pointed out in the post game show that Ryan Zimmerman looked at the runner while throwing the ball to first base before trying to pick up ALR and this caused his throwing error. Ray said that is a big no-no and a bad habit RZ has gotten into.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    What?!…Nobody up this morning?

  78. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Sonny, I don't know. Seems like RZ looked a runner back on another play, and that was the right thing to do. Seems like he just needs to be able to do both.

  79. Nats Fan 204 - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Intersting thoughts expressesed by R. Zimm in the article by Kilgore in WaPo. The article showed the differences between Harper and Zimmerman when it comes to playing baseball for 162 games. The article also mentioned Davey's thoughts on the matter. Undoubetly, stats represent the product but the process by which the stats are achieved is also important. it seems that if a former manager and ballplayer like Ray Knight notices such an obvious problem and such a simple correction, there has to be a reason why Zimm hasn't figured it out.

  80. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Haren in July: 4 GS – 1-2 – 23ip – 18 hits – 8ER – 26/6 K/BB – 3.13 ERA – 1.04 WHIP – .214 BAA

  81. Nats 128 - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. Drew - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    The Nats have promoted a bat.Brandon Miller moves from Hagerstown, where he had 26 doubles, 18 homers and 72 RBIs, to Potomac.He knocked in two runs in his debut last night.Drew Ward, the 18-year-old Okie with the GCL Nats, hit his first homer to go with 12 doubles. He's hitting .336.

  83. Nats 128 - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Scott Hairston is still hitless in pinch hitting. He once again failed to make contact in a key matchup. Davey is putting him in for RH/LHP and these strikeouts are unacceptable.

  84. Secret wasian man - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Agree nats 128, you gotta go with Lombo for contact.

  85. Secret wasian man - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Barves 8 in a row. Ohhhh boy. Somebody stop them.

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

    NF 204, what did Ray say?

  87. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Watching defensive plays. Shuck robs a HR and goes over the wall and lands in the stands. Might be play of the year.Then in Camden Yards, old man Raul Ibanez hops to make robbing a HR easy in leftfield. I can't remember the exact situation but I think it was TyMo had the same play to make in LF and didn't make a similar play.BTW, in Camden Yards, Morse with a 423 foot jack to the last row of seating in leftfield to go with his double and a Web Gem catch of a foul ball.

  88. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

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  89. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    If it hasn't already been beating to death, I'd like to continue the discussion about Z'man's critique of Harper's t-shirt, as reported by Kilgore. What's the point of that? Is Z'man agitated that a kid unable to legally consume adult beverages is stealing his sunshine, usurping his role as a "leader?" I'm not impressed by his averment that so long as he (and everybody else) is "playing hard every day" everything will be OK. Is that supposed to be read as a statement that not everyone to this point has been "playing hard every day?" Or is it just Z'man looking in the mirror and pretending he is qualified to judge how hard/well he's been playing? What Z'man thinks is "playing hard" isn't necessarily what's best for the team. Rather, it includes accommodations — e.g., playing in, not back; being obsessed with waiting for the perfect pitch — that aren't necessarily team-centric. A team of narcissists focused on their own comfort zone is likely to be 53-59 in the first week of August. It takes only a handful of failed divas to spoil the opera.

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Theo, interesting post and good food for thought. I think Zimmerman and other "favored" players get a walk sometimes while players like Werth receive too much criticism.All players will make errors or misplays during a 162 game season but Zimmerman is truly a defensive liability as shown last night. He's the master of defending the bunt and soft grounders and not much else.He does lead the Nats in BA with runners on base so he is very good in the clutch even though he has a high GIDP rate.His comments seem to me to be a little ego driven and I think he has a high self value. Once he moves to 1st base I think he will rise as a star once again. The defensive burden of 3rd base has to be weighing on him.

  91. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Zim not going to first anytime soon. He is gonna rehab that shoulder all winter and be fine in spring.Besides, who's gonna play 3rd….Rendon, and his warning track power? Rendon is gonna have to get bigger and stronger if he's gonna stick in the bigs.

  92. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I agree with BigCat. Why should RZ move from 3B if he can handle it? Chipper did. You need to save 1B for guys who CAN'T handle other positions but are offensive forces. RZ will fix his problems and he won't be diving into home plate.

  93. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I do sense a change in approach, though, with RZ. After that homeplate dive, he said, "That's the way I play, that's the way I've always played." Then he saw it has cost him a lot for a long time. He is older–and perhaps wiser, seeing what it takes to keep himself on the field.

  94. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Harper's T-Shirts etc were a good thing. I think Zims comments were that when you play 162 games you cannot possibly be fired up for everyone. You stay professional and do your job. The old college rah rah stuff goes out the window when you play almost every night for over 5 months. Still, you gotta loves Harpers enthusiasm.

  95. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    So–let's see. Today we root for(1) Nats(2) Red Sox(3) Cards(4) Fillies…(5) Pittsburgh…This is complicated. :)

  96. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Going to the P Nats tonight! Purke is on the mound

  97. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Stop drinking the Kool Aid, no rehabbing shoulder will improve RZim's range and doubtful his throwing accuracy improves. You've been saying this since April that it would be better in June and we're in August!Big Cat, as I've written a few times this week, Rendon stays at 2nd and you trade for Chase Headley who will be a FA after next year. If San Diego isn't going to sign him long-term, you go for it considering Rizzo can extend him. If not there are other options.The Nats have the worst corner infield range in the Major Leagues. If you move RZim to 1st you likely have a Gold Glover there who can play normal depth and showcase his glove while not relying on his arm. LaRoche isn't going to return to 2012 form as he is on a sharp regression with the glove and bat. +3.5 to a -2.2 in range is a major drop and can longer be dismissed.The Nats defense was supposed to be a positive this year and infield defense is worse in the Majors. Every double going down the line that a replacement could've fielded directly impacts the pitchers and the score of course.Put down the Kool Aid and grasp reality. Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche don't deserve a "pass" on this one if this team really wants to improve. Don't compound mistakes. Do what needs to be done.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… It's funny how people are forgetting those sloppy losses riddled with throwing errors, mental errors, poor baserunning and poor execution at the plate. May 09, 2013 9:07 AM Even in beating lousy teams, the mistakes are still evident. Good teams don't go to the playoffs when they can't play mistake-free baseball.2 baserunning blunders last night, 1 errant throw, and more poor execution at the plate. Luckily it was the Brewers and not the Tigers.Like I said, keep telling yourself it's OK. I wrote that 3 months ago and things still haven't changed, but 1 thing that drives me crazy is the non-aggressive errors and stupid baserunning by veteran players.

  99. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM

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  100. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Ghost/Big Cat –When someone on your team says, "Everybody! Balls to the Wall!," you embrace it, not pooh-pooh it. You don't say, "Well, it's OK for him, but not needed for some/most/the rest of us." You say, "I'm tickled pink that Bryce is still fiery, is trying to inspire everyone on the team to play better, and wants to be a leader." The longer this el foldo has progressed the more I've looked to see where the division was in the clubhouse. I think I'm starting to see a schism between the Pants-on-Fire crowd, who are In It To Win It every day, and a bunch of guys who confuse carrying a briefcase to work every day with being professional. Who appear to be the leaders right now? Werth (it helps that he's en fuego at the moment) and Harper. Is Z'man unhappy he is no longer FOF? Ryan, I've got some advice for you: pick up a rope and pull.

  101. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Ghost, it's possible to have a different opinion without belittling other people's opinions. I agree that unless LaRoche tears it up for two months (and demonstrates that he's in good health), you cut your losses on him. But first basemen are easy to find–you have Tyler Moore, for example, who is a lot cheaper than moving RZ to first base and getting Headley. I think RZ is very motivated to work during the off-season. He sees himself as a third baseman.

  102. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    NatsLady, I'm frutstrated because I know you are smarter than this and I'm not giving a pass on something that is just giving RZim more excuses.The off-season will not cure him. It's in his head and it's hurting this team in more ways than just throwing errors as you can see it in the advanced metrics like his range. As you quoted the other day "Another ball past a diving Zimmerman". How's about the balls he can't even react to because he's playing so close. This over-compensation for his poor arm has affected every part of his game except the balls he comes in on.I think the final straw for me was reading Theo's assessment of RZim's comments.

  103. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I think I've missed the terrible defense from Laroche. Granted, he missed a couple plays that he normally makes, but to call him a defensive liability is absurd. As for Zim, he is still one of the best defensive 3B's in the league. He makes the bunt and slow roller play as well as anyone to ever play. I have not noticed a big drop off in his range. Perhaps with his arm troubles he plays more shallow, which would hinder his range. Bottom line here Ghost is that we have had a miserable year and when the losing starts the negativity comes.

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    NatsLady said… I think RZ is very motivated to work during the off-season. He sees himself as a third baseman. I don't give a *&P$(*PO$ if Ryan Zimmerman sees himself as a 3rd baseman. He can't perform at a level well enough and his GM can show him plenty of film and Fangraphs stats to back that up.IMO, no single play in this season has been more impactful on the direction of this team at a critical time than that throwing error to 2nd in the 9th inning vs the Braves as that pushed the Braves up and the Nats down. To me it was as big in this season as Storen's Game 5. A turning point the Nats never recovered from. A demoralizing defeat when the win was there for the taking.RZim's bat is needed but he will never be a better than average 3rd baseman again and it's a shame since he's only 28 years old. There is only 1 viable solution and that is to hand him a 1st baseman's glove in the off-season and prepare him for the reality so you don't blindside him like Storen felt he was when Soriano was signed.

  105. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    My previous comment leads me to think about what kind of manager the Nats need for 2014, and who should it be. I've never really liked Buck Showalter, who was always a guy who came in, cracked the whip, wore out his welcome and wound up w/ his players mysteriously deaf. Except that the current Buck Showalter seems to have learned to crack the whip and still convince his players that he loves them. (Still outraged that he fired his third base coach for the team's bad performance. Hitting/pitching coach is one thing, third base coach another.)That's the sort of manager they seem to require. Johnson's magical thinking/Mary Poppins style is not working anymore, does not have the whole team pulling together. Not sure who that person is, however. Can we find inspiration from Knorr's moment in the spotlight? Girardi seems to be the "leader in the clubhouse" so far as the posters on this blog are concerned but his most conspicuous skill has been coddling a bunch of very high-paid players. Mattingly seems to be doing something good in LA and if he loses his job for not winning the whole shebang he might be an attractive option. I don't think he's the best tactical manager available (see, Gardenhire) but what this team needs — I think — is someone whose message is, "Row harder, boys!"

  106. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    A couple weeks ago I stated that the team had no heart. Competitiveness is a hard thing to teach. I went down the list of posistion players and only had a couple guys who you would want in your foxhole when the grenades start gettin lobbed. Harper, Werth, Desi,and Susuki. And then to top it off, you got a 70 year old manager who keeps reminding everyone its his last year and never holds anyone accountable

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    BigCat, when was the last time you saw LaRoche snare a ball on the line? The answer is almost never. His UZR is 2nd to last for all 1st baseman in the Majors as is his Range.He was bad in April and as I commented then I hoped it was just his bad back. He makes the plays that are hit directly at him and he is adept at scooping bad throws on the bag. Other than that, he has self-confessed before that he isn't a great athlete.The stats are there but your eyes should tell you. He missed a ball in the Tigers game as he was holding the runner and still couldn't get a glove on a hot smash over the bag which was a reflex play that almost every 1st baseman makes. Those plays never show up as errors, just a deficiency in UZR and Range ratings. Read Fangraphs.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    BigCat said… As for Zim, he is still one of the best defensive 3B's in the league. He makes the bunt and slow roller play as well as anyone to ever play.I said that. That's always been his bread and butter play but he also plays so far in that he has that advantage to take that play away.To excuse the rest that get by him or the continuation of these poor throws is just that, an excuse.

  109. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Yes, I recall the shot down the line that he didn't get against the Tigers. His bat is of greater concern. He is in the 4 slot and it seems he hasn't had a big hit in a month.

  110. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    I don't disagree with you on Zim's throwing etc, just think it a little early to hand him the 1B glove. Besides, I'd like a big bopper at 1B. Then you move Laroche to Tracy's spot

  111. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Big Cat, you should be thrilled. The one thing you wanted was for Eck to be fired and he was.Now you say the team has "no heart"? There are plenty of players that have heart and you see it in Werth and Harper and Ramos and Desi and Strasburg and Clippard trying to carry this team on their backs.There are others that probably have heart but just lack the ability to show it on the field like Tracy , and Suzuki is entrenched in a bench role.It takes more than a few guys but there's plenty of them with heart & hustle. I think Rendon and Span are trying to figure out their place on this team and the rest I didn't mention you can figure out where the problems are.

  112. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I'm sure Rizzo is gonna keep a close eye on how Morse finishes up the season. He could be picked up on the cheap. He hit the hell out of the ball when he played first

  113. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I hope you don't conduct your business this this kind of condescending attitude, Ghost. I don't need you to tell me if I'm smart or not, and I really don't care if you are frustrated that I don't agree with you. I still don't agree with you.NatsLady, I'm frutstrated because I know you are smarter than this and I'm not giving a pass on something that is just giving RZim more excuses.

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Big Cat, RZim is a big bopper bat. #1 clutch performer for the Nats and can't be neutralized by a relief pitcher like Harper.

  115. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    You will see in the long run that the firing of Eck was a huge plus.

  116. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    BigCat–interesting that you say that. I'm curious why?

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    NatsLady, that's fine and this isn't business. It's fantasy GM baseball. You could certainly be right about RZim having an off-season type of rebirth. It's just a difference of opinion.First of all, I see it clearly on the field and Fangraphs and UZR confirm it. You can go on thinking the off-season will cure Ryan Zimmerman's defensive woes and maybe it will but tell me the last time a player on this type of regression has improved dramatically going into this 9th full season of baseball?By the way, I thought you were a big supporter of UZR and Fangraphs ratings?That is fine and you gave your opinion.

  118. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    I am a big supporter of fangraphs, but UZR needs at least three years of data, so I take it with a BIG grain of salt. I'd have to see three years of a trend that RZ's range is declining (which it could be, I haven't looked). However, I'm an even bigger supporter of player motivation. I can't read minds, of course. But I think putting RZ at first base, permanently, when he's only 28, would be even more demoralizing than putting Storen, temporarily, as a setup man. (And I don't have a lot of sympathy for Storen.) If RZ is the same next spring as this year, fine, let him go to 1B and get a guy at the deadline. Tell him that–if he doesn't already know. I happen to think he will be physically better (throwing) and if he's a step slower then he will adjust.

  119. fast eddie - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Theophilus:You suggested a possible schism between the "fiery" vs. the "professional" factions.I sense a schism between the hitters and pitchers. After his loss in Detroit, Stras commented that "you have to be almost perfect" (due to the lack of hitting). He ranks #93 in run support on a team that is 28th in MLB in runs scored. That has to wear down the pitching staff night after night.

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    NatsLady, I don't know if Rizzo can afford to take that chance but I think the bigger motivating factor in Rizzo's decision is that he could keep LaRoche at 1st because of his big contract. I jut think that's the wrong decision for the team. I don't believe in compounding mistakes and making decisions based on contract dollars.This team was built on pitching, defense, athleticism and a good offense. This is why I believe Span will fit in long-term as well as Harper in the corner outfield. It's also why the Nats can't afford a repeat year of the poor corner infield defense they are getting.On LaRoche, I think he is hiding a back injury and just feels like playing it out. Maybe he can come back better as his decline seems more than normal age regression.Ryan Zimmerman though has been on a decline year over year for the past 3 years and while even players in their 30's can improve from one year to the next, you have to wonder if Zimmerman can regain the range he once had that made him a Gold Glover.

  121. Nats 128 - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    GoSM, you hit the hornets nest when you put down Ryan Zimmerman. He is an untouchable on this blog. If you want to smash him, go over to WAPO.

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Nats128, I used Fangraph statistics which are objective data. I really like Ryan Zimmerman but I believe this team will get much better by moving Ryan across the diamond and bringing in a top 3rd baseman via trade.I've mentioned 2 to target: Chase Headley and Kyle Seagar.http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=3b&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

  123. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    128–looked at some of the comments on WaPo. A lot of them are ripping RZ, some are supportive. I don't think RZ (or Davey) did themselves any favors with their remarks. They should have done like Abad did, and just said, "Great shirt, I'm gonna wear mine." Also, I've been plenty critical of RZ. Last summer I wrote an essay speculating that RZ was miffed/jealous of Harper's attention. Then it seemed like he adjusted and contributed a lot during the later months. I didn't like his somersault into home plate. I CERTAINLY didn't like his being satisfied with coming home from St. Louis with a 1-1 record after winning Game 1. I don't think RZ is "untouchable." I do think he is valuable.

  124. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Eddie — If there's a schism between the pitchers and the hitters it runs both ways. Some guy with a bat in his hands is probably muttering, "It would be nice if we weren't behind 3-0 in the third before we get thru the batting order the first time, and 5-1 in the fifth — or worse." And Strasburg is as big an offender as any, as he seems to think they sing the Star-Spangled Banner at 2:00 p.m.

  125. DWS - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    We need people on this team that will state the obvious. And good for them. It shows they're not used to losing.

  126. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    I gain great knowledge from both Mark and the comments on here. I take most comments with a grain of salt as I feel Mark and Kilgore and others do this obviously for a living.I also get tickled by how things come in full circle. We had a poster that has mysteriously fanished and one of the people that took great glee in that is now a person who is championing one of that posters biggest moves. That of moving Zimm to first base. Right now, as much as I respect opinions from both NL and Ghost, I am siding with NatsLady on this one. Zimm and others said it would take at least until June to get the shoulder back. He suffered early and yes, he still makes some throws that make you wonder but I think with a full off-season where he will start that off season with more strength then he certainly had last year will make a huge difference. His cat-like reflexes and his abilitiy to charge are still there. If the arm is stronger and he can move back even just a few steps, his range improves and voila!! we have 3rd base covered. Ghost might be right, and NatsLady might be right – that is the great thing about this game.Go Nats!!

  127. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Tommy Milone to AAA. I thought he was doing well, but that was last year.Milonehttp://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/03/athletics-option-left-hander-tommy-milone-to-triple-a/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  128. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    So, We have Gio, under control for several more years. The A's have a 2nd string catcher, a AAA pitcher and Peacock is struggling with his 3rd team. Damn you Rizzo, what were you thinking?

  129. Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    308 and NatsLady have pretty much said what i would say. Ghost makes some valuable contributions to this blog, but like WODl's dislike of Span, we get that you are down on Zimm and ALR, but the daily dose of it is getting hard to swallow.Personally, I agree that ALR is playing through a bad back, and the 2013 ALR is not the 2012 version, but to say that he hasn't made any sensational plays down the line is not true. I can remember at least two game ending/game saving plays he made.And the Nats are not going to just eat his salary next year. Also, I really disagree that Ryan Zimmerman is going to magically become a Gold Glove first baseman if he ever moves over.. I think like many players before him, Zimm could move over and play an adequate 1B, but it would take hundreds of reps and at least two years of playing there for him to be elite at it. I still don't see it happening before the 2015 season, if at all. Just my baseball stupid opinion.

  130. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Peacock is also in AAA, where he seems to be doing OK. No idea whether he will be promoted in September.

  131. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    FYI….Manassas Nats Fans daughter is getting married today. He said it will be all over by 7pm so he can still watch the Nats. Now that is a fan

  132. BigCat - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Dan Haren tonight. We need another gem Danny boy. And remember to be very careful with Weeks. That guy owns us

  133. Drew - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Earlier someone criticized Rendon's "warning track power." Let's cut the rook some slack. Aaron hit 13 homers as a rookie.No, I'm not saying Rendon is Henry Aaron.I'm just saying Rendon's a rook. We don't yet know what he'll become.

  134. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Last year there wasn't a huge concern on RZim's defense which made Peric's rants premature. In fact RZim was 10th in the Majors for 3rd baseman and his Range rating was -0.4 and a -0.9 overall. This year he's last in all of MLB in UZR with a -11.2 Range rating and -14.2 overall.Hard to believe any 3rd baseman can be rated lower than Miguel Cabrera and it's happened.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
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