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Beaten and bruised by the Braves

Aug 17, 2013, 12:57 AM EST

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ATLANTA — The curveball came in from Ian Krol at 77 mph, hanging right over the plate. And it departed via Justin Upton’s bat with far more velocity, clearing the fence in left-center and leaving the Braves mobbing their star slugger at the plate while the Nationals trudged away having suffered yet another disheartening loss to this Atlanta club.

The scene inside the Nationals’ clubhouse minutes later was even more disheartening. Amid dead-silence, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond sat side-by-side at their lockers, staring into nothingness. Krol and Taylor Jordan, fellow rookies on a veteran-laden roster, showered and dressed and tried to figure out what to say when asked by reporters about this 3-2, 10-inning loss.

And Bryce Harper sat alone, sporting a bandage on his arm after he twice was hit by pitches — the third time he has been plunked by the Braves in the last three meetings between these two teams — before walking out declining to speak to reporters.

Such is the state of affairs right now for a Nationals club that is stuck in baseball purgatory. They’re able to beat up on bad teams but getting beaten up by the good ones. Sometimes in the literal sense.

“It’s not easy losing, that’s for sure,” Werth said. “It’s kind of been the story of the year so far. We just play good enough to lose.”
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  1. David Proctor - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Interesting that Zuck and Kolko describe the scene in the lockerroom a little differently. Zuck says LaRoche, Werth and Desi were staring into nothing. Kolko says they were huddling and talking quietly. Fairly significant difference.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Writing from Crater Lake, Oregon: 'Deja vu all over again' yet again.

  3. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    I think Stras plunks Justin Upton in the first inning tomorrow. IMO that's when it should happen.

  4. PChuck - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    As he has all season, Davey continues to put players in positions to fail. Denard Span is awful against lefties and, for some reason, terrible on the road so what does Davey do against a lefty on the road? Bats him leadoff, of course. 0 for 5 was about as good as we could have expected from Span tonight. 0 for 6 would have been disappointing as he only had 5 at bats.Knowing full well that Ramos is playing on a bad hamstring, what does Davey do when Ramos gets on base in the 9th? He keeps him at first base then, after another hit and Ramos gets to second, THAT'S when Davey pinch runs for him. Did Davey forget about Ramos' hamstring? Did his coaches forget along with him? This should have been an easy decision for Davey and he STILL blew it.Finally, he has lefty Krol in in the 10th. He gets out left handed Hayward and next up is Upton, what does Davey do? Go to the bullpen for a righty or what almost every other manager would do, have Krol pitch around Upton and go after the lefty Freeman. No, Davey has Krol pitch to Upton with the completely predictable end result.This team is unlikely to make the playoffs but, ultimately, this team's playoff chances were shaky long before now, as, in order to make the playoffs, they would have had to overcome Davey Johnson and overcoming Davey Johnson is being shown to be a herculean task for any team.

  5. Unknown - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    Braves are bullies, but winners. Nats are classy, but wimpy losers. However, what goes around comes around. Hopefully, next year.

  6. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Pchuck, on your third point–Suzuki has been around the block, he should have helped Krol there.

  7. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Davey does seem to wear down late in (night) games. He should have a almost automatic plan–if Ramos gets on base in the 8th or later with 1 or fewer outs, Suzuki is in. For once, Tracy did his job. Lombo will put the ball in play, maybe even a squeeze, Suzuki scores from third.

  8. TimDz - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    If the Nats don't plunk one of the Braves in today's game, they are basically rolling over and allowing themselves to be treated like punks…This will not only be the case for the rest of the season, but will have ramification into next season….First Brave batter in the bottom of the second needs one in the ribs….

  9. m - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    If I am the Nats I would focus on hitting the ball with runners in scoring position, instead of retribution. If you want revenge beat them on the field. The "ballerina" who has the second most hits on the team (whatever that is suppose to mean) had another sterling night. Quite a demonstration on how to strike out with runners in scoring position. He really caught the Braves flat footed with his pop -up bunt. He was clearly overmatached last night.News flash to DJ. – This guy is not a lead-off hitter.

  10. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    I disagree about retaliation. I just don't think we should sink to their classless level. A baseball is a dangerous weapon and I don't think we should put our pitchers in a position where they might permanently injure someone in the name of retaliation or a manhood competition. One upping never ends well. Win or lose you have to decide what kind of person, player, team, organization you are. Are you a spiteful loser or are you classy no matter what the situation? I do not see Stras giving anyone a free base. I do think Stammen( who did an awesome job) came inside a lot more than usual. Stay the course, don't fall for the taunt, let them look bad. Whatever has happened to that fan base? That was disgusting. At some point , someone is going to take them down. I cannot wait to watch that happen. Kharma is a bitch. Great seeing Drew pitching well last night– big spot right there.

  11. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    I don't think it's a matter of being a "spiteful loser." Harper has been hit three times by Atlanta pitchers (albeit one might have been an accident). That's beyond coincidence. You need to protect your player. Personally,I would hit Teheran on Sunday, because his was the most flagrant. Pitchers are not exempt. Whether they go after someone today depends on the game situation. If Stras has a good game going, like a shutout. you don't want him ejected. Lay a no-hitter on them, that would be GREAT.

  12. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    This is sport Swami not life. Athletes respect physicality, nothing else. The plunking must take place today. Now what can stay classy is not cheering when we plunk another guy at our park.

  13. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Great points PCCHUCK!!

  14. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Good point NATS LADY. What irritates me in all of this is MLB will do nothing. This league has become a joke. With the PEDS and allowing AROD to continue to play…. Boston is trying to win a division and a CHEATER is out there driving in runs against them. No respect for SELIG.

  15. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    "As he has all season, Davey continues to put players in positions to fail."Yup. You wonder how the game would have played out with Hairston leading off instead of Span. Right on target with the rest of your points, as well. This is the 2nd time this season that the Nats should have beaten Kimbrel in the 9th inning, and it was Davey who blew it, both times."Pchuck, on your third point–Suzuki has been around the block, he should have helped Krol there."Yeah. I was thinking the same thing. Zuki called that ;pitch, and a still green rook is not going to shake off the crafty veteran. No doubt, Krol missed his spot, but why was Krol not pitching around him in that situation?"I disagree about retaliation. I just don't think we should sink to their classless level."Baseball, like the military, has its own code. As Werth said, the players will handle it. Maybe not until next year, but they will not forget, and they will not allow their young phenom to serve as target practice for the bad guys. If you think back to what Teheran did, that pitch hit Harp just above his right knee. If he had managed to swing that leg out of the way, that pitch would likely have hit him square in his damaged left knee. Such a pitch could have ended his season, given how damaged that knee already was. I don't blame Harp for being incensed. His teammates cannot allow the Braves, or any other team, to play with the kid's future like that.His manager? Bleh!That said, impossible to tell if that near beaning in the 8th was deliberate. I think it probably was not, but it doesn't matter what you or I think. The league cannot get the idea that the Nats will allow Harp to take that kind of treatment without there being a price to pay.Civility ain't got nuthin' to do with it. The way the cops enforce civility on deviant miscreants does not include the phrase "pretty please." And that especially includes violent deviants. That's why the men in blue carry nightsticks. You can look it up.

  16. Nats106 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Nats Lady, excellent points in your comments. I also don't think putting Strasburg in a potentially volatile situation is a good idea. I might feel differently had the Reds won last night, but I still believe we can win games and take the last wild card spot. A loss to the Braves last night was somewhat expected, although unfortunate since the opportunity to win was there. The Brew Crew's win was not. Coming back and taking the WC spot- That would be sweet revenge.Also agree on your comments about Johnson. He does seem to be slow in making what would appear to be obvious decisions. I think it's tough to have "set" decisions though. I am wondering if his health is OK.

  17. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    LBB, excellent post. Look, priority is to win games, I get that. But you can't let Harper be a punching bag. Period.Lay a no-hitter on Atlanta today, plunk Teheran tomorrow in Gio's last inning of work, or let Abad do it. Worry about the hitters in the next season or next year.We need to take the next two games, 3/4 from the Cubbies and 2/3 from KC. Bring up Tyler Moore to DH. Then we have a long string (17 games) against the Fish, Mets, and Fillies. Beat them lots, like 15/17 or 14/17. That's 20+ games right there. Then have an exciting end of September, with something to play for. Minor is a lefty, correct? Let's see if Davey drops Span in the order.

  18. Nats106 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    And Laddie, well said in your comments. Regarding retaliation, there is a time a place and a method to handle these things. The singling out of any player is plain wrong and must be dealt with. I am hoping they handle it.As I said last night, based upon Johnson's comments I wouldn't expect it today, but I've beem wrong many times before.

  19. Steady Eddie - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Laddie — Agree on all, especially Hairston, but it's even worse than that. The Nats are one of if not the worst hitting team in baseball against lefties. Span this season has done far worse than his career average against lefties. Hairston was brought on specifically to be the capable right-handed bat against lefties. For Davey to play Span instead of Hairston under these circumstances, regardless of where he's hitting, Amounts to incapacity at best, and insubordination or subversion at worst. You want to say incapacity, which is consistent with his brain freeze or sleep about Ramos, But you wonder given that Davy had all day to think about his line up with that matchup.

  20. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    106, agree, with Jordan pitching and the bullpen (Clip, Soriano) stressed, this was the one I thought we might lose. We didn't lose it the way I thought we would, Jordan/Stammen/Storen were on their games. Krol–I lay the blame on inexperience and Suzuki, and the fact that it's hard to win extra inning games on the road.

  21. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Nats106 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    One last comment on the Nats players mental state and reactions. The silence (or quiet discussion depending on who reported it) can mean one of two things. Either they've given up or they are getting really pissed. If it's the second it could get real interesting if the Braves pull any more of their BS.

  23. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I hear what you are saying- really I do. But a thrown baseball can never be completely controlled and can permanently injure or kill someone. I think it's reckless. I don't want our pitchers asked to do it, or to feel pressure to do it. Right now it would be a certain ejection and a free base runner. I want to hear something from Fredi Gonzalez. I don't think he is directing this and he did pull his guy immediately. He had to have been embarassed by the fans. But this has to stop. It's over the top now.

  24. Steady Eddie - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Regarding my last comment about Davey, I don't mean subversion in the sense that he consciously wants the team to lose. But there may be some strange lines of thought going on in his head about team psychology that are Detached from the reality of the teams mental state. That expresses itself in actions that hurt the team as we frequently seen lately.

  25. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    It seems to me the best game to give Span a day off is today, with another lefty starting.You can afford a little loss in outfield defense with Stras starting as he is slightly above average ground-ball pitcher (51.2%). Just don't make infield errors!!!!Start with Hairston/Harper/Werth. If it gets to Clip (extreme flyball pitcher) with a lead, fine, put Span/Bernadina in for defense.I don't think they've given up. They can read the scoreboard, they saw Arizona, CIncy and St. Louis all lose.

  26. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    I also feel that they are baiting Bryce and trying to get him to snap and be ejected. The more he stays calm, takes his base and ends up scoring, they will see that it doesn't work. Hard for him, but an important lesson to not allow yourself to be baited. I think he did not speak last night so that he did not further inflame the situation.

  27. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Eddie, not being a psychologist, not being in the clubhouse, it's tough for me to imagine what's going on with Davey. One thing I hope is that Rizzo reassured him that he will not suffer Cholly's fate. That would send the wrong message, the message that the season is over and an "interim" guy is auditioning for next year. I seriously think Davey should take naps, he is a morning guy, and by 10 pm he's had it. There is no shame in a siesta after lunch, it's very refreshing.

  28. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    "I don't think they've given up."The players will not give up as long as Werth is in charge of the clubhouse, or until they are mathematically eliminated.

  29. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Harper let slip they do pay attention to the standings. A few days ago he said, "14.5 down, I need to be in the lineup" (I forget what had happened).

  30. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    LBB, so right. And Werth is not just talking, he's doing. He's been there before, he knows it's a long shot but it can happen. Gotta earn it, though.

  31. BigCat - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Here's what we do. You warm up Stra and Abad. You start Abad and he drills Heyward on the first pitch as hard as he can in the back. Of course, he will be ejected. No fuss. Now you bring in Stra. If Davey is questioned after the game, tell them the truth, that you are protecting your players.

  32. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    swami, of course they are baiting Harper. But he's done his part, not gotten ejected, said all the right things (or nothing) in the postgame. At a certain point you have to back him up, or he will get hurt. You are so worried about OUR pitchers injuring someone else–what about Harper? How many times do you let him get hit, risking injury each time? Three, four, a dozen?

  33. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    BigCat, if Abad starts they will issue warnings right away. That's fine, let Abad get ejected (along with Davey). But remember, that takes the inside of the plate away from Stras, too, for the whole game. You have to decide if it's worth it.

  34. Candide - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Getting tired of this, "Oh, we're not going to sink to their level, we have too much class, blah blah blah…""Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser." — Famous Pointy-Ball Coach"Nice guys finish last." — Famous Baseball ManagerI like BigCat's suggestion. Go farther. Replace Abad with some other oxygen waster from our bullpen, lather, rinse, repeat.Yeah, Davey will get suspended for that, but it's not like he can't afford five days off without pay, and he's kinda mentally checked out anyway.

  35. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    LOL, there's your interim manager's for five day audition.>Yeah, Davey will get suspended for that, but it's not like he can't afford five days off without pay, and he's kinda mentally checked out anyway.

  36. Candide - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    NatsLady said…But remember, that takes the inside of the plate away from Stras, too, for the whole game. You have to decide if it's worth it.Yeah, you're right. If we lose that game because Stras can't come inside, we might miss the playoffs.Here's something else to consider about whether it's worth it or not: Someday, we're going to want to sign Harper to a long-term deal. How much extra will it cost us to sign him if he knows he's in an organization that doesn't protect him?Assuming he'd be willing to sign at all, for any price.He didn't say anything to reporters last night. That strikes me as a sign he was still too angry to talk. How much of that anger is directed at his own team?

  37. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    "Davey should take naps, he is a morning guy, and by 10 pm he's had it."It has come to that for you guys….your endless excuse making for Davey's sink into feeble-absentmindedness has come to NAP TIME?No end to your enabling this team to play link punks with no heart…..Amazing…..

  38. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    NatsLady said…swami, of course they are baiting Harper. But he's done his part, not gotten ejected, said all the right things (or nothing) in the postgame. At a certain point you have to back him up, or he will get hurt. You are so worried about OUR pitchers injuring someone else–what about Harper? How many times do you let him get hit, risking injury each time? Three, four, a dozen?August 17, 2013 8:56 AMRight on the mark NL.

  39. EmDash - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I'm not generally in favor of retribution by HBP, but…one player getting hit 3 times in 2 games? You pretty much have to do something at that point, I'd say. Not in a way that gets someone injured, of course, but it's gone a little too far now to ignore. The Wood one was clearly unintentional, but Avilan's really didn't pass the eye test.Out of curiosity last night, I did a look at HBP this season. The Nats have been hit 28 times (tied for third-least in the NL), and the distribution goes as follows:7 Pittsburgh5 Atlanta4 Philly3 Milwaukee2 Miami, NYM1 Cleveland, CWS, Detroit, SD, SFFor Atlanta, three of those are Harper in the last two games, two others are Espinosa being hit by Maholm (including the pitch that broke his hand). This is interesting because they're the two (along with Stras at one point) that have made comments along the lines of "the Braves aren't better than us" (Espi) and "this shit ain't over (Harper) right around the time they got hit. This makes the idea that these things were accidental less plausible.(In case you're curious, the distribution of Nats pitcher HBPs:7 SD6 Philly4 Atlanta, Pittsburgh3 Cinncinnati, Colorado, NYM2 Miami, Milwaukee1 Arizona, CHC, CHW, LAD, MN, St. LouisIn case you're curious, the 4 Atlanta players were Heyward by Strasburg in April, Gattis & McCann by Clippard in one game in a near-meltdown, and Freeman by Gonzalez in the same game Harper first got hit, on a slow breaking ball that got away.)

  40. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Davey has a major problem with his back. I would not be surprised if he is taking a pain killer to make it through the game. Perhaps this would affect his concentration.

  41. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    LOL, JayB–I made a dozen or more posts this morning, and THAT'S what you're worked up about, me suggesting Davey take naps???? I don't think Davey's getting fired (or resigning), so gotta live with him for another month-plus), less the five day suspension, of course. Anything that will improve his level of alertness in night games, I'm for.From what Werth said, however ("we'll handle this in-house"), I don't see Davey doing the Abad thing. "In-house" to me suggests the players, not the manager.

  42. Section 222 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    His teammates cannot allow the Braves, or any other team, to play with the kid's future like that.You can't let Harper be a punching bag. Period.I have one question for all you macho school yard punk geniuses. How is throwing at a Brave hitter tonight going to stop the Braves from throwing at Harper? Do you really think one retaliatory HBP will magically bring them to their senses and "protect" protect our young star hitter? Upton gets plunked one time and the Braves pitchers all are intimidated and stop their attacks? Really? And why on earth would you put our young star pitcher in the middle of a melee to play the Zach Greinke role? That is absolute lunacy. Ok, that was two questions. Sorry.The one thing I would have liked to see last night after Harper's second HBP was Davey out of the dugout and in the ump's face calling for the pitcher to be ejected. baseballswami is talking sense. Don't succumb to the peer pressure buddy, like several others here have.

  43. EmDash - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Davey makes odd choices in extra inning games with a pretty high frequency. Tonight was a special case because he was constrained due to how many innings the bullpen had had to pitch already and Clippard/Soriano being unavailable, but he had a long run of games of putting the most struggling reliever in before a reliever who was in a run of doing well even when everyone is available. Bullpen management and substitutions are two of the only things managers can really control in a game, most of the time, and he hasn't handled either well.

  44. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    STOP…just stop making excuses for Davey…..Charlie M lost it and got fired….that is what is needed here too…..Rizzo is an amazing hypocrite. "This is a performance based league"…except for our old fool of a manager….he can get away with malpractice no matter how far it sets back the organization near and far term.

  45. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    222, Yes. Yes, I do. Plunk someone tomorrow (I suggest Teheran) and warnings are issued. You think they are going to risk one of their starters getting a five-day suspension, plus Fredi? Maybe they have a spare reliever, maybe not. Then, if we are out of it in September, plunk someone in the next series, every game if you have to.

  46. EmDash - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Saying Davey's too old/out of it to make the correct decisions is pretty much the opposite of making excuses for him, I'd say. And if he isn't fired by now, the odds of it happening seem pretty low. (That he hasn't makes it seem less likely that they're going for an internal candidate, I'd guess.)

  47. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    EmDash, between his odd bullpen management and his failure to use pinch runners, you really wonder. Now, I read recently that pinch runners don't actually add that much, given that you may give up the superior batter coming up again later. But this was a TIE game. We needed ONE run (and the bullpen to hold, of course). Re: Davey. Rizzo is in a tough situation. I don't think he can or will fire Davey. The problem is, Davey never should have managed 2012, he should have finished out RIggleman's season and called it a career. Rizzo probably knew that, but was didn't have enough clout to override Davey and his "Hall-of-Fame" reputation. Even if Davey's ingame moves and lineups have cost 5 games this season (and that's a LOT for a manager), that is not the difference. Bad luck, bad timing and POOR PLAY, that is the difference.

  48. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    I have one question for all you macho school yard punk geniuses. How is throwing at a Brave hitter tonight going to stop the Braves from throwing at Harper? Do you really think one retaliatory HBP will magically bring them to their senses and "protect" protect our young star hitter? Upton gets plunked one time and the Braves pitchers all are intimidated and stop their attacks? Really? Absolutely deuces. You'll see when it happens and it will happen.

  49. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    If Davey was going to get fired it would have been when Eckstein got fired, or when we lost all those games in July, after Harper and Ramos came back and we had a "soft" schedule. No point in doing it now, Werth will either get this team to the playoffs or he won't.

  50. TimDz - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Couldn't resist to poke at the Braves fans on the Braves-Nation.com website…. Troll-like, most definitely, but I am still seething over the HBP and moreso over the classless cheering….______________2012…..Nats>Braves…..Both teams watched the WS from the same easy chair….2013….Braves>>>Nats….Both teams will watch the WS from the same easy chair again…Enjoy the short run in October…..

  51. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    222 – you know how I feel about your posts in general over many years….but something has to change with this team. The HBP issue is just one of many examples of no fire no heart behavior from the top down. I do not think this would be happening if the whole league was not laughing at the Nats and especially at Davey. He put a target on their back with his Spring Training WS comments. He then proceeded to manage them like losers (see Danny love and so many other stupid moves) and now the league is just playing with a old fool who does not even know it. Are the Braves being cruel? Is it classless? Should grown men making millions be better people? Uh yea….but I have played as a young adult with baseball lifers….guys who have no other options…..I have played as an old guy with them 30 years later…..it is a culture thing and it is real. How is this going to end…..with Bryce charging the mound and losing time on the field by injury or suspension. There is no high road to be had and if we do protect him they will keep hitting him……they Braves are finding the Nats lack of response and even bigger breach of the code which means they must teach the code some more.

  52. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I don't admire what the Fillies did to Charlie at all, and have no wish to emulate them.That said, I certainly hope he's not the next manager, his in-game management is worse than Davey's.

  53. UnkyD - Aug 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    I wondered if Harp would hold it in until the locker room, and then erupt in a general tirade, like I might be tempted to… I'm impressed with his restraint. But what my stomach churn, is that BOTH managers get warned, after Harp got plunked, TWICE!! WTF? Freddie and Avila should have been tossed, summarily…

  54. Nats 128 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Suzuki seems like he doesnt want to get out of the crouch. Thursday he never thought once of getting up and talking to Soriano plus his choice of locations were nothing great. Same last night.Never want to play down to 1 run. Nats had there chances to add runs and didnt. Span could have been pulled in the 5th. He wasnt hitting the lefty and had men on 3rd and on 2nd with the 1 out after the Taylor Jordan sacrifice. Davey could have corrected his lineup mistake there and brought in Hairston who is here just for those spots. Of course Span pathetically struck out on a few pitches.

  55. Nats 128 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    "NatsLady said… I don't admire what the Fillies did to Charlie at all, and have no wish to emulate them"Exactly. Emulate what so many wannabe GMs here keep suggesting "Fire Davey".

  56. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    NatsLady said…I don't admire what the Fillies did to Charlie at all, and have no wish to emulate them.That said, I certainly hope he's not the next manager, his in-game management is worse than Davey's.August 17, 2013 9:51 AMSame here NL.

  57. Section 222 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Something has to change with this team. JayB, I respect your posts as well, but you and everyone else are grasping at straws, or tilting at windmills, if you think turning our team into school yard bullies will change anything. All it will do is put our players, and their players, at risk of serious injury. It won't stop the Braves from throwing at Harper — only ejections, fines and suspensions will do that and the Nats should be all over MLB to do something about it. And it won't stop their idiotic fans from embarrassing themselves. And for the record, I don't give a rat's a** what Harold Reynolds or any other pontificator of his ilk say. Maybe our guys should start concentrating on scoring more runs and holding leads instead of obsessing on how to "handle it." Right now, they can't beat the Braves in the games on the field, so upholding the unwritten code doesn't mean squat.

  58. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Watch the MASN interview when Davey reacts to Charlie being fired….he openly laughs and is clearly embarrassed about keeping his job. He lists of what Charlie did to earn the firing and he realizes that his performance is the same or worse….keeping him just sends all the wrong messages…..just another reason the rest of the league is rubbing our noses in it….Nats organization is losing credibility by the day. Credibility they are going to need this winter to fix several holes in this organization.

  59. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    222 I did not say they should respond in kind….I would not…what I said is how this will end and why…..Had the Nats fired Davey in July with Eck then we would have a blank slate with the league. Rizzo blew it.

  60. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I absolutely understand your position on this. And yes, I am concerned about Bryce. I just see no good coming from keeping it going and escalating. In a brawl, our guys can get hurt, and a thrown baseball is an unpredictable , dangerous weapon. Don't engage the bully and he will get bored when he doesn't get the result he wants. I still think the way to get them is to beat them on the field. Which we really, really need to do. That's four games that were close enough to have won. And I never want to see Nats fans behaving like the Batves fans- ever , ever.

  61. Whynat - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    At approximately 8:10 pm on May 6, 2012 Mr. Colbert Hamels struck Mr. Bryce Harper with a thrown baseball. At approximately 8:35 pm on May 6, 2012 Mr. Jordan Zimmermann struck Mr. Hamels with a thrown baseball. Baseball justice, swift and sure. You need to chose whether you want to be intimidated, or be the intimidator. Yes, it is macho playground behavior and it has had its place on macho playgounds (baseball diamonds) for over 100 years.

  62. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Amen, Whynat!

  63. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    The braves are bored with the Nats. Beating us is like brushing their teeth everyday. So now they are gonna single a guy out and push him around for fun. The Nats are down, way down. But you don't have to let them KICK you when your down also.

  64. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Amen whynat.

  65. Kirbs - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I want 97 in Upton ribs. Please.

  66. Secret wasian man - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Swami I was at game Thursday when ALR liner struck the Giants pitcher. When the pitcher left the field Nats fans stood and applauded. That's class. Throwing bottles onto the field and cheering for a hit batter is tasteless and disgusting. But that is the society that has been created.

  67. joemktg - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    SS will make the decision as to what to do. I doubt anyone is going to come up to him and say something: they won't have to. It's on SS, and my bet he's going to drill someone.SS can sometimes rule with his emotions, and this is an emotional situation for him. He's the king of the bump, and he's going to protect the guy with whom he's been linked since BH was drafted. I think this is seen by him as a sign of leadership, and he's going to lead.I don't agree with this line of thought. Let it go and play your game. However, should someone get plunked again, all hell should break loose. Question is: who gets matched up against Heyward and Upton?

  68. Kirbs - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Swami and 222..I would much rather the brawl happen with them charging and us on defense then bryce getting pegged and having him charge. Although I'm sure are spinless, no supporting team will let him fight on his own. Warnings be damned, it should have ended last night.

  69. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Braves organization and fans have been classless for many years…..Chipper Jones was created and then led the stomped on the accelerator to spiral down that path.

  70. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Honestly, I can see both sides of this. I just want it over and I want the Nats out of that city. And I really want someone- Dodgers, Pirates? to teach them a lesson if we can't. And I want every Nat to think about this in the offseason when they are working out, and in Spring training when they ride a bus to a game instead of playing golf. Might be too late for this season, but file this away and use it as motivation. And let's not become like them when we are on top again. Remember, remember.

  71. Kirbs - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    "You know, that's one of those things we take care of in-house," Werth said. "That's just part of the game. I'm not going to speak publicly about it."If Rizzo is the mob boss. Werth is his top enforcer….it appears it will be handled.

  72. Kirbs - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I agree with you there swami…it needs to be over and done with this weekend. Hopefully the new manager will run a tight spring training and get ready to go.

  73. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    "The scene inside the Nationals' clubhouse minutes later was even more disheartening. Amid dead-silence, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond sat side-by-side at their lockers, staring into nothingness".Mark's above quote reminded me of a scene in Godfather, when Johnny Fontaine is crying to Vito…"Godfather, I don't know what to do…" Vito responds by bitch slapping Johnny and saying "you can start by acting like a man" Tonight, the Nats can start acting like man. hey..its better than my Ned Beatty analogieslol

  74. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    oh..Brave fans….Gen Sherman rules!!!! would love his ghost to burn your cracker assess againlol

  75. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Davey is in pain and obviously not inspiring much out of this team. Maybe he needs a bit of a DL stint and just let Knorr run the team for a week or so. I would like to see it. The one day Davey got tossed, Knorr put Soriano in his place. He is the one in faces, communicating, patting backs, barking and knows every single guy in there. Not saying we would magically win every game, just give Davey's back a rest and what could it hurt?

  76. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Werth is Michael Corleno…problem is…too many players are like Fredo

  77. Whynat - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    NSA text message intercepts:LaRoche to Jones: WTF Chip, what are your guys thinkingJones to LaRoche: ahhh, just a little carried awayLaRoche to Jones: you know we have to get someoneJones to LaRoche: yeah, got it -that'll cap itLaRoche to Jones: Upton is gonna wear one on his a**Jones to LaRoche: hes a pain in the a** already

  78. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    baseballswami said…Davey is in pain and obviously not inspiring much out of this team. Maybe he needs a bit of a DL stint and just let Knorr run the team for a week or so. I would like to see it. The one day Davey got tossed, Knorr put Soriano in his place. He is the one in faces, communicating, patting backs, barking and knows every single guy in there. Not saying we would magically win every game, just give Davey's back a rest and what could it hurt?August 17, 2013 11:03 AMSounds good to me swami.

  79. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    agree swami

  80. joemktg - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    mick said…Werth is Michael Corleno…problem is…too many players are like Fredo+1

  81. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    This year spring training was an anomaly because of the WBC and the Gio-Biogenesis thing. Davey's goal was to get the boys to April without injuries. I remember toward the end he made the them all ride the buses to away games. I don't think he managed ST that much differently than he did for 2012.

  82. nats guy - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Sec222 and David Proctor,After the first plunking 10 games ago I agreed with you, let it die. Unfortunately the Brave0s didn't let it die. If the Nats don't respond today they might as well go out on the field with the signs kick me hard on their jerseys. The Brav0s are just crunching on the Nats necks and it isn't real pretty to watch if you're a Nats fan. Probably Bud Selig or Joe Torre need to get involved or today should get pretty nasty. If I'm Bryce Harper I would demand that my teammates (pitchers) and coaches do what is necessary to protect my back. If they don't do that I wouldn't want to be playing for that team. To me it doesn't matter if a position player is a star or not he should expect protection from his teammates and coaches. If he doesn't get it, it isn't much of a team.Other teams are watching and if the Nats lay down today they will be getting a lot of issues from them also. Forget about the records today, take care of your team.

  83. JayB - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Does not matter if Davey ran spring training the same in 2012 and 2013….he did not in my view…but the point is it did not work. He did not change the tone when it clearly did not work by May…he did not change when it became make or brake season mode in June….Then Rizzo did nothing when it became a league wide joke that the Nats were punks……now it will get ugly….with fights and suspensions….ALL TO PROTECT A OLD GUY's EGO who stayed too long…..WATCH THE DAVEY RESPONSE to Charlie M getting fired…..EVEN DAVEY KNOWS NATS have become a joke.

  84. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Still very torn on this. No pitcher has perfect control. Risky business. I hate this part of baseball culture. The way things are going this year I just see it blowing back on us. And those fans are so blood thirsty that I almost fear for the safety of our team. Remember what they did when the ump made a call they didn't like?? Maybe it needs to wait until the end of game three. I still see the ideal solution is beating them in the field.

  85. nats guy - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Baseballswami,I can tell you never played. If they do not react today they will be owned by the Brav0s and every other team in baseball who pulls this crap. The Brave0s also know that baseballs can cause injuries. My respect for Frddie Gonzalez, which was high, now does not exist. Yesterday did not need to happen. It will not stop unless the Nats respond in kind, probaby with Freddie Freeman.I use the analogy of Neville Chamberlain and appeasement. Sometimes you just need to give a bully a good swift kick in the ass to get their attention and make it stop.

  86. baseballswami - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    You actually don't know anything about me. I have seen first hand the damage a baseball can do to a body. I have also seen first hand what can happen when people make decisions with the wrong part of their body. I already said I see both sides of it. I just don't see it as black and white as some of you do. I have seen a pitcher have to live with the fact that he disabled someone for life– accidentally. I cannot even imagine what it would be like if it happened intentionally. It's because of the things I have seen close up that I hesitate to see this a a simple issue. No pitcher has perfect control. The only thing I am sure of is that this has to stop.

  87. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I don't know what has happened to Davey. He is not managing at a high school level. Any HS coach who wanted to win last night would have sent in a pinch runner for Ramos as soon as Wilson reached first base in the 9th. It was comical to see him finally send in Zuki as an after thought, like he just noticed that Ramos couldn't run when Wilson stopped at 2nd base instead of making it to 3rd on a weak grounder through the right side.Maybe it's early onset Alzheimer's. Davey is not even making the obvious moves any competent manager would be making as a matter of routine. Any one of us here probably has his own list of blunders, missteps and downright WTF moments from this past season.Or NL may be right about fatigue taking over late in night games. Well, just 6 more weeks and it will be over. I am sure Rizzo has his list, or he might even have a guy lined up, already. I am tired of beating up on Davey. He is a good man who probably stayed one year too many.

  88. NatsLady - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    JayB, I agree with you on May and June–Davey did not inject any URGENCY in the team, just seemed to be content to let the players "express" their talent. Then it was too late in July.

  89. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Whynat said… At approximately 8:10 pm on May 6, 2012 Mr. Colbert Hamels struck Mr. Bryce Harper with a thrown baseball. At approximately 8:35 pm on May 6, 2012 Mr. Jordan Zimmermann struck Mr. Hamels with a thrown baseball.And there it ended. Done. Finis. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Play ball.The difference between the Hamels-Harper incident and the Braves-Harper incident is what the umps did. When Hamels plunked Harper, they did not lay down the warnings until after the Nats retaliated. That allowed the Nats to make the choice on when and how to retaliate. They could ignore it, end it with an equivalent plunking, or escalate. But when the umps placed warnings on both benches immediately after Harper was plunked the first time, it narrowed the Nats' choices down to either escalating the incident by inciting ejections, automatic suspensions and possibly brawls, or wimping out with the swami/222 "why can't we all just get along?" approach. Neither one of those is a pretty picture.Tonight, assuming there are no pre-emptive warnings by the umps, the Nats need to plunk someone and end this. They had their chance to do that in the next game when the Braves were in DC, and they chose not to. See how that worked out? They shouldn't make the same mistake again.

  90. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Laddie, good points in your 12:02.

  91. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    "The only thing I am sure of is that this has to stop."How do you convince the other guys to back off? It takes both sides, and there is no hint that one side is ready to call it quits. The Nats did not retaliate for Teheran, and what did it get them? When I was in elementary school there was a really big new kid who was a bully. He always picked on the smallest kids, and one of the smallest was a nice kid named Tommy Evans. Wayne (the bully) backed Tommy up against the school wall one day and started in on a small kid he towered over. Tommy let loose with a straight left to Wayne's gut. Wayne went down, started crying, and no one ever let Wayne bully them, again.It never stops until someone puts a stop to it. There is nothing to prevent an apology from one of the Braves or their manager. Nada. They could end it right now, if they wished.

  92. SonnyG10 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    swami, I understand your 11:58 and can see where you are torn. I would not want anything tragic to happen either. However, I think the quickest end to this is to send the Braves a message soonest or the chances of something bad happening increases.

  93. Candide - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    nats guy said…Sometimes you just need to give a bully a good swift kick in the ass to get their attention and make it stop.You misspelled balls.By letting this go on this long, we've let ourselves get into a situation where we have to either:1) Do something really ugly, i.e., hit two or three Braves in a row, which will surely empty the benches and result in ejections, fines, and suspensions or;2) Bend over and ask for another.And, to pull out the Neville Chamberlain analogy again: If someone had stopped Hitler in 1934, nobody would have had to do anything ugly in 1939.(Did I just compare the Braves to Hitler?)The Braves are playing this like a violin. They hit our guy, and say, "Whoops, I'm sorry, (snickersnickersnicker)" and the ump issues warnings to both teams. Then they do the same thing the next time. So the rule apparently is, you get one free shot per game (actually two for the Braves yesterday); whoever hits the other guy first wins.Look, we're not going to win the division, or even make the playoffs. If we allow this to continue, nobody is going to want to play for this organization going down the road because we'll have the reputation as a team that doesn't protect its own. The prospect of losing Harper to free agency gets bigger every time he gets hit with no retaliation.We have nothing to lose by retaliating. Being out of the race is liberating. I'm channeling my inner Janis Joplin right now.

  94. EmDash - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    To be fair, in the first game, they kind of had to issue a warning – Harper started yelling, and the benches cleared, and it seemed like a brawl was possible. They had to step in at that point. Last night, though…it did seem premature.

  95. paul brandt - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Heck, even Peter Brady took care of that bully Buddy Hinton for making fun of Cindy's lisp…and when he did, that was the end of that.We will continue to get bullied until we stand up to it and do something about it. When we do, it will be over.

  96. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  97. mick - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I want to see Nats pound some faces and kick some nuts!

  98. Nats Fan 204 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I think it was Mike Wallace, on Nat's Talk this morning who made the point that Gio should have plunked one of the Braves players the very next inning after Julio T. plunked Harper. A few years ago, wasn't there a pitcher on the Texas Rangers who consistently came up and in and hit opposing players? Didn't his own teammates get him to stop because they were tired of being plunked as a result of his tactics? Tonight will be interesting for SS. He says he wants to be seen as a mule. He doesn't like to being taken out of games when he has an ache. He didn't like Davey telling the press about the "icy hot" problem he experienced during a game. I hope that SS understands the situation facing him tonight. I also hope that MLB doesn't tell the umps to issue warnings before the game starts, as I am sure Atlanta is lobbying for right now.

  99. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I said in anotger tgread we need to like General Sgerma.

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