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Game 145: Nats at Mets

Sep 11, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

NEW YORK — The Nationals have won four straight games without Bryce Harper in their lineup, but make no mistake, they’ll be thrilled to welcome him back tonight. After getting his ailing left hip examined Monday and taking a healthy round of batting practice yesterday, Harper has been cleared to play again and will be back in the lineup for the third game of this four-game series with the Mets, who send young fireballer Zack Wheeler to the mound.

Dan Haren gets the ball for the Nationals, and he’s in need of a quality start in the worst way after getting shelled in his last two outings, one of them against this same New York squad. If ever the veteran right-hander had a big-time start in him, tonight would be the time to break it out. (FYI: The Reds have already won, avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Cubs. So the Nats will need to win tonight to remain 6 games back.)

This, of course, is the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so there will be tributes throughout the evening at Citi Field and players from both teams will be wearing commemorative caps. I say it every year on this day, but I’ll always remember what an important role baseball played in the nation’s healing in September and October 2001, and it’s once again nice to remember how this sport continues to help unite us.

Updates to come…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind 17 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (75-69)
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
2B Anthony Rendon
RHP Dan Haren

METS (64-79)
LF Eric Young Jr.
RF Juan Lagares
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Lucas Duda
3B Josh Satin
CF Matt den Dekker
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Zack Wheeler

UMPIRES
HP James Hoye
1B Jim Reynolds
2B Bob Davidson
3B John Hirschbeck (cc)

7:11 p.m. — After some solemn and touching 9/11 remembrance ceremonies pregame, we are underway with Denard Span at the plate facing Zack Wheeler. … And on Wheeler’s third pitch, Span delivers a single to left field, extending his hitting streak to 22 games.

7:21 p.m. — The good news: After Span singled to extend his streak, Jayson Werth roped yet another rocket of a double to left field, continuing his torrid pace at the plate. Werth is now hitting .330 for the season, not to mention slugging .552. The bad news: The Nats couldn’t score in the top of the first. Bryce Harper, making his first at-bat in five days, struck out mightily at a high, 3-2 fastball from Wheeler. Ian Desmond then whiffed at an 88-mph slider, ending the inning and stranding two men in scoring position.

7:28 p.m. — Nice bottom of the first from Dan Haren, who retired the side on 13 pitches. He struck out Eric Young Jr. on a changeup to get this one started, then got Juan Lagares to fly out to right and Daniel Murphy to tap a dribbler to first, with Haren teaming with Adam LaRoche on a nifty, little 3-1 groundout. Scoreless after one.

7:43 p.m. — Looks like the good Dan Haren has shown up tonight. He’s through two scoreless innings, having retired 6 of 7 batters, striking out three and allowing only one ball to leave the infield. He’s really fooling the Mets lineup with his offspeed stuff so far. Thirty-one total pitches, 20 strikes, for Haren through two.

7:49 p.m. — Meanwhile, Wheeler has found a groove. Since that Werth double in the top of the first, he has retired eight straight batters, four on strikeouts. Nobody has gotten the ball out of the infield since. Still 0-0 heading to the bottom of the third.

7:57 p.m. — Make it three hitless innings for Haren, who has four strikeouts and has really looked sharp. He did get some big help in the bottom of the third from Ryan Zimmerman, who made a really nice diving stop of Ruben Tejada’s smashed grounder. More impressive than the stop, though, was Zim’s on-target bullet of an overhand throw to first that followed. That’s not a throw he makes earlier this season. Further evidence his shoulder is getting better. Scoreless through three.

8:05 p.m. — Here’s an encouraging sign: Bryce Harper just beat out a grounder to third. And not a ball in the hole or down the line. Like, basically a routine grounder. He was fired-up as Jim Reynolds called him safe. That was a 2012-type of play from Harper, a really encouraging sign. Unfortunately, it was wasted. Desmond grounded out with Harper on second and LaRoche struck out to end the inning, leaving the Nats 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position so far tonight.

8:14 p.m. — Well, Haren’s no-hit bid may be over after Juan Lagares led off the fourth with a single to left. But Haren’s shutout remains intact. He now has six strikeouts in four innings and has thrown 57 pitches. Looks really sharp. Still scoreless as we go to the fifth.

8:45 p.m. — Man oh man, is Ryan Zimmerman on some kind of torrid power streak, or what? He just clubbed a solo homer in the top of the sixth, his 22nd of the year but also his seventh in his last nine games. Even more staggering: Zimmerman’s last six hits have all been homers. That’s not easy to do. It’s 1-0 Nats as Haren takes the mound for the bottom of the sixth, hoping to keep cruising along.

8:54 p.m. — Make it six scoreless, 1-hit, 8-strikeout innings for Haren, who has been getting a ton of swings and misses tonight. He’s at 86 pitches (59 strikes) and looks good for at least one more inning, with the Nats still leading 1-0 as we move to the seventh.

8:57 p.m. — Er, I take that back. Steve Lombardozzi just pinch-hit for Haren in the top of the seventh. So that’s it for him. Interesting.

9:09 p.m. — The Nats have eight hits in seven innings against Wheeler tonight. But they only have one run, on Zim’s homer. They’re 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, reverting back to an old and disturbing trend. So it remains 1-0 at the stretch as Xavier Cedeno makes a rare entrance from the bullpen to pitch in a really big spot.

9:20 p.m. — And Cedeno proceeds to strike out Murphy on three pitches and get Duda to fly out to right. Guess Davey’s genius switch is in the “on” position tonight. We go to the eighth, still 1-0.

9:32 p.m. — The Nats finally get a hit with a man in scoring position, and it’s a biggie. Anthony Rendon roped a 2-out, 2-run double off the wall in left-center, scoring Desmond and an exhausted LaRoche to give the Nats a 3-0 lead as Tyler Clippard enters for the bottom of the eighth.

9:41 p.m. — Another 1-2-3 eighth inning for Clippard, though it did include a deep flyout to the warning track in right by Mike Baxter. The Nats are 3 outs away from their fifth straight win.

9:53 p.m. — We go to the bottom of the ninth. Rafael Soriano is on in search of his 41st save. Also, Zach Walters has replaced Ryan Zimmerman at third base. That’s odd.

10:00 p.m. — That’ll do it. Soriano finishes off a 3-0 victory, the Nats’ fifth straight. They’ve won 22 of their last 31 to improve to 76-69. But with the Reds’ win earlier, they remain 6 games back with only 17 to play now.

205 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. iconicwoodencap - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Here’s hoping duct tape and rubberbands can hold Haren together for tor at least 5 good innings. We now know the Nats can win with pitchers 1-3 against sub .500 teams. Here’s where it gets interesting. Can we win with a shaky pitcher? Then it’s on to beating tough teams….

    Hoping the Nats can pull together and fight through whatever adversity they face tonight!

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Even if Haren pitches decently — it’s not all on him. Zack Wheeler is no slouch.

      • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Absolutely. Haren needs to keep us in the game and we need to get to their bullpen.

    • bowdenball - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      “Then it’s on to beating tough teams….”

      FYI this is a four-game series, they play tomorrow afternoon too.

      And I’m not sure I’d call this current incarnation of the Phillies a “tough” team!

      • iconicwoodencap - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        you’re right of course, my lack of precision. I guess I’m preoccupied a bit with how the Nats will fare once the schedule turns decidedly unfriendly. (Braves, Cards, D-Backs).

        I hope you’re right about the Phillies. I’m taking my 7-year-old daughter to her first Nats game on Sunday. Hope she’ll see a win!

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      testing

  2. slidell2 - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    The way to tell whether Davey is in sync with the Nats Sales & Marketing Office will be how long of a leash he has on Haren.

    • nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      That is spot on-at least one way to tell. Davey was quick to pull Zimmermann once he gave up that 3rd run. Lately he seems to have been more attentive to the game and situations.

      MNF also made the observation earlier this week that Strasburg lacked focus with the balks, etc. Very much the case. For virutally the entire season there have been mental mistakes throuhgout-some have not had impacts on the end result, but enough have. (Last KC game comes to mind that I have no doubt we would have won had it gone into extra innings)

      It makes me wonder how good this team would have been this past year with more attention being paid to what was going on the field at the moment.. Whatever the outcome this year I am expecting a breakout year in 2013 similiar to what Boston is doing since they got rid of Bobby V. (yes I know there were a lot of injuries on that team which contributed to their record)

      • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        “Lately he seems to have been more attentive to the game and situations.”

        I think this is a great example of evaluating a manager by hindsight. Because the Nats are doing better he’s managing better?

        Or maybe the Nats are finally hitting on most cylinders.

        (And to compare Davey to Bobby V is a low cut, imho)

  3. Baseballswami - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Keep in mind that yesterday we were concerned about facing Gee. That turned out a whole lot better than we feared it might. Keep the line moving.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Absolutely! Wheeler can be had. Short leash on Haren.

      • nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Wheeler has been solid going back to his 8/4 start when he gave up 4 runs in 5 so he’s due for a mediocre/bad start. Make him throw pitches and get us to that nice bullpen of the Mets.

      • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        “make him throw pitches”

        It depends. Davey told the Nats to jump on Gee early if they saw good fastballs and be aggresive. Which is what they did.

      • nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        I’ll accept that.

        It’s another not so subtle nuance that indicates he is managing the team as Davey Johnson and not by proxy. Good point there and we wouldn’t know that unless we knew (or thought we knew) Gee tendencies. At least I wouldn’t know.

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    BTW, welcome back Bryce!

  5. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Having discovered the B-R page that shows all the batting orders for the year, I also uncovered one that shows all the defensive lineups for the year:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2013-lineups.shtml

    The summary information is pretty interesting. It shows, for example that Zuki has still caught more games than Ramos, Span has been in CF for all but 15 games, and Rendon now has played 2B for just about half of our games.

    It also shows how many starts each pitcher has had in our first 144 games, which led me to wonder how the Nats have done in the games they started. Seems to me this is a slightly more meaningful stat than their won-lost records, though it still is greatly affected by things beyond their control. Still, if a pitcher did well enough to keep the team in the game and give it a chance to win, that’s worth a lot even if he didn’t get the win himself.

    The results confirm that JZnn is our stud, and Haren as been a disaster. The others are a little surprising:

    JZnn — 20-9
    Gio — 18-11
    Stras — 12-16
    Haren — 8-18
    Everyone else (Det 13, Jordan 9, Ohlie 5, Karns 3, Duke 1, Roark 1) — 17-15

    And how about the team’s ability to win 2/3 of the games started by the big 3, and half the games started by everyone else, which a poster here smartly noted was a good recipe for a successful season? Well, we’ve fallen well short of that guideline, thanks to Haren, and Stras/lack of run support.

    Top 3 combined — 50-36 — .581
    #4 and #5 combined — 25-33 — .431

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Nice work!

      I know is Stras’ case, it was major lack of run support. His ERA is a full 1/3 of a run lower than either Gio or JZim, and his WHIP is by far the best of the starters.

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        I’ve been channeling my inner wonk, wonk!

        I agree that Stras has been a serious victim of lack of run support. It’s also true that his poor outings have come at some very inopportune times — the Cubs meltdown, the grand slam in Detroit, the game right before the ASG in Miami where the Nats scored 3 in the first, and Stras gave 7 right back.

        We’ve won nearly 2/3 of Gio’s and Znn’s starts. Not so with Stras, by a long shot.

      • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        My point though is that even with “the Cubs meltdown, the grand slam in Detroit, the game right before the ASG in Miami where the Nats scored 3 in the first, and Stras gave 7 right back” — he has an ERA of under 3.00 and both JZ and Gio have ERA’s of over 3.30

        So, yeah, some bad meltdowns, but he’s been fairly excellent the rest of the time — reflected in most stats other than W/L record.

  6. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Just kn case you are interested but don’t want to do the math, here are the Nats’ records in games in which the starter did not get a decision:

    Znn — 3-1
    Gio — 8-5
    Stras — 5-7
    Haren — 0-5
    Det 3-1
    Jordan — 3-2
    Ohlie — 3-0
    Karns — 2-0

  7. nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    well that’s encouraging…Not!

  8. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak now
    Ramos told Davey today that he wants to catch more games in a row than anybody in baseball. High this season is Yadier Molina at 22.

    I guess Ramos is getting a day off anytime soon…

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      make that ISN’T

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        That’s nuts but it’s working. Hope the Nats get a 6 run lead so Solano can take a few innings.

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Davey will sit him down as soon as he thinks fatigue is making him a liability.

      Although many here swore that Ramos was exhausted, visibly so, and that Davey was an idiot for playing him Sunday Sept 3 (which was going to be 12 straight games for him), it appears Davey evaluated Ramos’ ability to contribute correctly. Including that Sunday, seven games, he has 3 homers and 12 RBI’s.

      • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        We’ve had days off scattered in so it really hasn’t been all that bad. It’ll be interesting tomorrow though.Day game after a night game.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Offensively Ramos is showing pop in his first AB but seems fatigued as the game goes on. The kid is strong but he’s also human. 20+ straight starts may be putting player over team but I guess we will sit back and watch.

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Last off day was Thursday, Sept. 5. Next off day is Thurs. Sept. 26. If Ramos plays every day for three weeks straight, he is a freak of nature.

  9. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Reds won today. WC elimination # is now 11.

  10. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Ghost, didn’t Ramos 3 run homer come in his third AB on Monday?

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      He had a big hit last night in the late innings as well. Don’t let facts get in the way of interesting theories though.

  11. slidell2 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Off topic but I think interesting. I’m watching the free MLB game; Rockies at San Fran.
    Giants winding up a VERY disappointing season, afternoon game vs. non-marquee opponent; looks like a full house.

    • Jw - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      SF is a baseball town. 2 WS wins in 3 yrs. Like Boston and Philadelphia it will take a couple of down yrs in a row before attendance drops.

      • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        That’s just what I was thinking. 2 WS wins in three years would certainly give lots of full houses in DC

  12. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    The heck with resting people. They can rest in the off season. Keep winning. Keep it interesting

  13. Baseballswami - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Agreed! All hands on deck and play it out. For as tough as this season has been we are a solid second place and still in the conversation mid- September. There are worse things.

  14. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Interesting article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/09/11/davey-johnson-walks-back-world-series-or-bust/

    Davey says he wouldn’t have said World Series or bust if he had known the roster would shake out the way it did. He thought Rizzo would resign Tom Gorzelanny and he didn’t. Went on again about the bullpen and bench issues.

  15. JB - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Need to correct the last paragraph to 2001, Mark, but the sentiment holds.

    • Mark Zuckerman - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Thanks, just fixed that.

  16. Baseballswami - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    NewYork and Washington DC playing one another on 911. Wow. Players looking quite serious.

  17. Candide - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Balkin’ Bob Davidson’s at second tonight. Over/under for balks called?

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      17

      • Candide - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        I’ll take the under.

  18. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Gotta put the ball in play Bryce.

  19. Candide - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Someone please explain something to me.

    FP, Carp, saying muggy night is conducive to HRs. Said it last night, too.

    Why is that? Seems to me the extra water vapor in the air would make for extra resistance to the ball traveling through the air. Someone please explain the physics behind that.

    Or is it simply a baseball old wives’ tale?

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      I stole this off the internet:

      “Basically the warmer the air the less dense the air pressure allowing for better baseball carry. The humid air is also beneficial when it’s hot because the water will be a gas and the H2O molecule is less dense then the O2 and N2 which normally make up “air.”

      However at colder temperatures the air becomes denser and the water molecules in humid air will condense and slow the baseball down making cold rainy days the worst for baseball carry.”

      • Candide - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        Thanks, DP.

      • nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        That’s correct in warmer weather, It (moisture) will stay as water vapor, which is a gas that is lighter than nitrogen or oxygen. I don’t know this stuff, but my son was a physics major long enough to understand and explain this to me.

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Yes, thank you DP. Interesting.

  20. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    That was Ball 4 Bryce. That’s a big strikeout.

    • Steady Eddie - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      He also fouled off ball three.

  21. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Let him off the hook.

  22. adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    OK — who had Haren striking out the leadoff guy of the game? ;-)

    (not me)

  23. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Arggggg Bryce swing at strikes only please.

    Especial on a 3-2 count. If you have to raise your hands to swings its a ball every time.

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      He looked rusty. With 2d base open, it seemed like Wheeler wasn’t going to throw him strikes . . . Harper got himself out on that.

  24. breakbad1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    FP just said Barry Bonds hit the ball so hard, that if you were a runner on first while he was batting, you had reason to fear for your life.

    Bonds could hit it so hard that a professional athlete, standing approximately 95 feet away, couldn’t get out of the way.

    FP: “I was aware as a runner, that if he squares one up, I could die.”

    Baseball Historians: please log this as the dumbest comment ever made by a broadcaster.

    Elias Bureau: please provide a list of the dozens of baserunners killed by Barry Bonds.

    Geez that was idiotic FP.

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Here’s a story I read in SI many years ago:

      Rod Carew once stole home — a straight steal — with Harmon Killebrew up at bat. Killebrew had no idea Carew was coming.

      Carew recounted how he broke into a cold sweat shortly after, when he realized: “if Killebrew had swung at that pitch…”

  25. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    I hate when pitchers. Are ahead 0-2 or 1-2 and then they insists on nibbling and walks the hitter.

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    How funny would be Haren throwing Nats’ first no-hitter?

  27. paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Appears to be a must win given the Reds win…so, do you have someone warmed up ready to go in case Haren blows up or do you wait for it to happen?

    I was vocal last night when JZimn started losing it but others disagreed since he was fine up until that point which was a valid point.

    my point tonight is we can’t wait for that to happen…heck, I hope Haren goes 9 but the reality is he won’t…BP needs to be ready.

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      True . . . but you have to balance that with burning out arms in the BP by warming up for innings on end, and, in case, we need arms tomorrow (how long will Raork pitch, after all).

      The guys I’d want ready are Stammen, Storen, Clip, and Soriano — but all four pitched last night, and you might need all four tomorrow.

      See the dilemma?

      • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        wonk, I get it…you don’t need to warm up for innings on end, just be ready in short order since this is as close to a must win game as we have had.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        pb, warming up is how they get ready. If they stay ready, it’s because they’re throwing.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      The advantage is that you have a guy ready to go in case of Bad Haren, which seems like a sound strategy to me, but there is, as Wonk points out, a cost. If you have your long guy, I guess Ohlendorf, warm up, and then don’t need him, you basically already used him today, and have to compensate for that somehow.

      And I doubt they would do it with a more “expendable” call-up, since the whole point is that these are must-win, and Davey, like most managers, won’t use not-even-rookies-yet if you can at all help it, in that situation.

      IMO.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        if *HE can at all help it.

      • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        well put Sec3. (Factor in the 20 games in 20 days thing, too — you need to keep your powder dry in the BP in that situation)

  28. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    The wasted opportunity in the first is looming large.

  29. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Overhand throw, on the money, with something on it. Very encouraging.

  30. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    The special Bryce Harper Strike Zone has returned.

  31. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Thataway Bryce! That was reminiscent of 2012.

  32. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    There has to be a reason that we’re unaware of that LaRoche refuses to bunt. That’s a freaking RBI if he does it.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Maybe he just really sucks at it.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

        Or maybe there were 2 outs and he is unlikely to bunt for a hit.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Although, with no third baseman it wouldn’t have to be much more than past the pitcher.. And that last pitch was awful.

        So just out of curiosity, I went back and looked. None of the pitches was especially buntable.
        Fastball, inside corner at the knees, called strike.
        Breaking ball in the dirt, ball
        Fastball (putatively) at the knees, but over for called strike two. This was the only one at all buntable.
        Slider that almost hit his feet, K swinging.

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        He really does suck at it. I saw him try it once.

  33. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    ALR is a complete joke. I find the fact that he won’t push the ball the other way very selfish

  34. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    When a pitch start low the odds on it being a strike is almost nil. I wish ALR could identify when a ball is low to start with. He dwings at a lot of low balls.

    Most the scoring in the good times has been homers.

    ,0 for 4 RI SP tonight with 3 K. Come on Schu do some teaching.

  35. janebeard - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    I like this Dan Haren.

  36. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    So leave one hanging over the plate. Those are base hits most of the time.

    Focus Haren

  37. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Yeah hop ALR is gone. Not gonna miss him. Get morse back and platoon him with More at first. It doesn’t matter if they are both righties. ALR is pathetic. He’s Adam Dunn with some defense.

  38. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    If Murphy is really available this offseason, the Nats should be in on that. I’d rather have his bat in the lineup than ALRs. An infield of Desi, Rendon, Zim, and Murphy sounds pretty good. Figure out later who plays where. :-)

  39. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Ok, ALR is either clueless, selfish or incapable of bunting. None of those options is appealing. FP was totally right that the Mets were giving us a run there with Harper able to take a lead half way down the line. It’s pathetic that he ALR couldn’t push it across.

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      ALR has a better chance of hitting through the shift than bunting. I saw him try to bunt, or push the ball to the left side of the infield earlier this year and he failed terribly.

  40. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Haren looks good. Bats look bad. Go figure

  41. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Sofa, unlikely to bunt for a hit? Who’s going to field it if he gets it down the 3B line?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Indeed, see my follow-on comment. I’m only half-watching while I work, and I can’t ever wrap my head around the idea of that shift with Harper on third.

  42. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Agree 222. Selfish is the right word. Or just plain stupid

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      Actually, neither one applies.

  43. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Haren 1 hit through 4 you gotta win this.

  44. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Bat ALR 8 th

    • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      swm, don’t bat him at all…put TyMo there…enough of ALR!!

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        I like that idea.

  45. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Apparently, a lot of hitters nowadays really suck at bunting. Forget what I was reading, about a month ago? to that effect, but the numbers seemed surprisingly pronounced.

  46. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Sorry Sofa. This new nesting comments feature makes it really hard to see the latest comments. I’m going back to always posting at the end and encourage others to do the same. Unless your reply is within a minute or two it isn’t going to be seen by a lot of folks.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      I think that’s the best feature of this new system.

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Well good for you, but be aware that since you replied to my comment 10 minutes after I made it on a fairly active post, I will know about it because I chose to be alerted to replies, but most people will never see it. Do you really like going back and looking at the whole thread to see if there are new comment? I don’t.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        Sec 222, there is an indicator thing at the top right corner. It is a small chat symbol next to your name. That turns orange when someone responds to your posts. You can even read the response and reply through it, instead of having to F5 and look for your comment. I am doing that right now.

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        I know about that Faraz. That’s why I knew you had replied. But no one else is seeing our discussion, thank goodness. They’re all seeing the new comments. Are you going back to the comments people made at 5 pm to see if new replies of interest have been made? I’m not. Which means that people can continue to have one on one discussions or debates, but the communal nature of the discussion is lost. That’s all I’m saying. And it’s why I’m going to reply to people down below unless I’m replying right away.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        I see what you are saying. That makes sense.

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        Oh, contrair duces. I go back and read the added comments.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      NP. It does take some getting used to. I’m used to it from other venues, but I know it’s confusing when it’s all wibbeley-wobbley, timey-wimey.

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        I’ve been having a discussion with Faraz about this. My main problem is that if someone posts a reply to a comment back at 5 pm, the only person to see it will be the commenter who is replied to. So you end up having a discussion with one person, but anyone else who might have somethiung to offer will never see it unless they are in the habit of going back and looking at every comment from the beginning of the post. I’m not going to do that.

      • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        You don’t duces, but I will…sometimes.

  47. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Haha. Balk called by Balkin’ Bob and the HP Ump overrules. Classic! No wait, it was Hirshbeck, trying to out balk Balkin’ Bob.

  48. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Had balking Bob called tge balk Hoye could not chang it. But Hershbeck can be convinnced to keep it.

    First reversal of balk of the season.

  49. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Good battle by Span. Just a nasty pitch by Wheeler. Still thinking of the wasted opportunity in the first…

    • Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      What made that a waste was Harper’,s 3-2 swing at one way high.

  50. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Got to love bad pitch on 3-2 swing, a strike lets not bother.

    0 for 5 RISP with 4 K.

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      Sorry, what are you talking about here?

  51. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Zim still can do the barehand play.

    In general his shoulder is better. With good PT this off season I hope will get him back to 2008 Zim

    • Whynat - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      +1

      • Whynat - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        Maybe old zim is back?

  52. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Zim is doing it on both sides of the ball today.

  53. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Get up in there

  54. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Very low strike zone tonight. Awful job ump.

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Goes both ways. Haren’s getting the low strike too. Which is a good thing, because if he doesn’t get that call, he’s doomed.

  55. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Yeah. Be nice to get a dbl here. Buffalo.

  56. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    I
    Hate
    First
    Pitch
    Swinging

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Remember Hairston last night?

  57. paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    sofa at 826pm, I am not getting my point across i guess which is ok…

    am just saying be ready in case haren needs help…not saying we should have 10 guys in the parking lot of citi field playing catch…

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      I think I understood that you meant that, which is what my 8:06 comment was addressed to. I agree, I went into gametime hoping Davey had somebody ready to go. Haren was horrible his last 2. Excellent tonight. Go figure baseball.

      • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        sofa, ok, sorry.

  58. knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    I think that “complete bum”, LaRoche just stole us an out there as EY looked safe to me.

  59. knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Excuse me, that should be “complete joke” not “complete bum”.

  60. breakbad1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Man this really looks like the prototypical 2012 Nats’ loss to me.

    • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      dude, what’s up with you?

      we will win this game but feel free to move on to the next team’s website on your list…

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      yeah — I hate it when the team I root for scores first

      (not)

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      you mean 2013, right?

  61. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Looks like we’re turning it over to the bullpen. I hope they can hold it.

  62. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Davey, please don’t put Mattheus in….

  63. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    There’s a reason there is low scoring. Nobody in there right mind could hit those low ones

  64. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Break bad it’s 2013. Glad you care though

  65. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I would like to formally and sincerely apologize to Dan Haren (and his family and friends) for the negative comments I posted prior to the game. I was wrong. He pitched well and I am, indeed, enthused about this game.

    Now, about those hitters…please get some runs.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Well done, sir.

  66. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Should have stolen 2 nd

  67. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Eugene he is also one heck of a good guy.

  68. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Jose Fernandez just hit a home run and pimped it. Brian McCann didn’t like it and got in Fernandez’ face and now the benches have cleared.

    • knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      McCann is a redneck like his old buddy, Chipper.

      • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        have to say knoxville, I will take McCann on my team or the Nats since I can’t afford him any day of the week, love that guy, red-neck or not…

      • knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        Sorry Paul but to me McCann is a class A jerk. He didn’t like it when Harper supposedly pimped his home run but he had no problem when his boy, J. Upton pimped it even more the night before. I wouldn’t mind seeing some pitcher giving him the high inside fastball some AB and putting him on his backside.

  69. knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Eugene, you aren’t the only one that needs to apologize to Haren.

    And btw, can you ask the Ducks not to embarrass the Vols this weekend?

  70. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Ughhhhhhh. Getting nervous

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    That throw hit Zim in the small of the back, dead center, right on the belt. Ouch.

  72. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Sometimes you’ve got to win a game 1-0 or 2-0. We’ve wasted opportunities, but Wheeler is a good pitcher. He made good pitches. I just hope our bullpen can hold this.

    Cedeno being in does not inspire confidence.

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      And of course Cedeno gets the job done.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Looks like somebody owes somebody else and apology …

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        *an

  73. thecynicin408 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Interesting that Drew is warming, after hearing Davey say on the pre-game radio show that he “should stay off him tonight.”

  74. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    They’re saying Cedeño, it says “Cedeño” on the back of his shirt, but the MASN graphic says “Cedeno.”

    Let’s all wish MASN “un próspero Ano Nuevo.”

  75. nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Nice 2/3rds of an inning by Cedeño.

  76. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    No one needs to apologize to Haren. We are 8-18 in games he has started. He was terrible this year. I’m glad he pitched well tonight, but if we win we will be 9-18 in his 27 starts. He should apologize to us. Anyone who thinks this game makes up for his crappy season probably thinks that Zim’s nice throw tonight makes up for all his errors, or Span’s hitting streak makes up for all those 4-3 or 3 unassisted with men on base when we were actually had a chance to make the playoffs.

    End of rant.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Man, stay the foxtrot out of my Wheaties. He pitched well. The rest is water over the damned.

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Hahaha. Over the damned is right. That’s the problem.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        Yeah, somebody used that in here a few weeks back, I think un-ironically. It’s my new favorite after “It’s a doggy-dog world.”

    • thecynicin408 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      I have through the years offered to apologize to a number of players with whom I had been disappointed, if only they would come through in a clutch situation. You know, “Austin Kearns, I’ll apologize for every bad things I’ve ever said about you if you drive in these runs” or “Danny, it will all be good if you put the ball in play in here.”

      Alas, it didn’t seem to work very often.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Sometimes, you just gotta do it yourself.

        (TOTALLY NSFW)

      • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM

        Nice. I remember when Austin Kearns got a walkoff hit his last year with the Nats. He was so awful that year it was comical. And Ladson insisted to the last that he had the potential to be a 30-30 guy. If Manny Acta wasn’t a manager his career would have been half as long.

  77. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    So I flip over to the Os Hun and Gary Thorne is ripping the Nats talking about there high payroll and how they have been out of the playoffs since August. Idiot

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      The Orioles are 76-67. The Nationals are 75-69. 2 game difference. Maybe Gary Thorne should put down the bottle and realize that the Orioles are in the hunt because the AL is weaker than the NL this year.

  78. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    When a pitcher hits a homer, he totally deserve to pimp it. Might be the only one he ever hits.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      If I ever hit one, I’m going to go around the bases like I’m wearing glass platform shoes with goldfish in ‘em. I’m gonna smoke a cigar on the way around. I’m going to mime steering a big convertible T-Bird one-handed. Then I’m going to take my next AB in full motocross racing gear. Because … well, because.

  79. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    222. Well said. ALR has stunk since April

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Thats true swm. And lots of people criticizing him tonight, as they should, even though he hit a HR last night. Short memories I guess.

  80. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Please don’t hit into a double play, Ramos.

  81. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Sac fly c’mon now

  82. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Ugh. That was the second worse thing to a double play.

  83. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Just pathetic. That the April thru August nats

  84. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    RENDON!

  85. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Rendooooooooooooooon. Hey ALR get the piano off your back. He’s running like Rg3 Hahahaha

    • nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

      He looked like he was in HR trot. What the heck was that.

  86. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    OH, that just missed.

    Where there’s life, there’s hope…

  87. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Hell yeah boiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!

  88. nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Laroche looks to me like he is jogging. FP calls that running hard.

    I thought on the previous post Rendon was on the “NOT” list.

    • knoxvillenat - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Nobody has ever accused LaRoche of being a speed demon.

    • adcwonk - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      Right — he was declared “not hot” because he was only .333

  89. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Way to go Rendon!! ALR was looking around too much, but made it. Good for him. Nice to have a cushion for Clip and Sori.

  90. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Tracy just got fisted. LOL. I thought this was a family show.

  91. thecynicin408 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Great going, Anthony! Just like you used to do it at Reckling Park.

  92. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Clippard has given up 2 LOOOOONG flyouts these last 2 nights. Whew.

  93. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    OK, if they don’t score again, I’ll be tucked.

  94. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Why in the blue hell would Davey bring in Walters for Zimmerman?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Remember that throw he took in the small of the back. Could be a problem here.

  95. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Walters as a defensive replacement? Huh?

  96. thecynicin408 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Not sure I like Walters as a defensive replacement.

  97. nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    What do you mean FP that Walters is replacing Zimmerman for defense. Walters has more errors than Zimmerman. I hope Zimmerman is ok.

  98. Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Hope someone asks Davey about that in the postgame.

    • nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Davey will give some smart a** comment if nothing is wrong with Zimmerman.

  99. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    From twitter:

    Billy Heywood ‏@NLBeastNats 41s
    Charlie and Dave said Zimm has been playing under the weather the past couple night. News to me

    • nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      It didnt help taking that throw off his back side when he stole 2nd. Like I said I hope he is ok.

  100. nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Thank you for swinging at that Daniel Murphy.

  101. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Does Soriano have to always put a guy on?

    • David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      He bunted for a base hit. Not Soriano’s fault that time.

  102. David Proctor - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    That was a nasty slider from Soriano.

  103. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    UNTUCKED

  104. nats128 - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Great job Nats!

  105. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Yahhhhhhh hoooooooooo. We’re not done yet baby.

  106. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Nats win! Lets do this!

    Glad we won… Haren was great (and I called this a loss)… So glad to be wrong!

  107. secretwasianman - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Ok David didn’t see the bunt. Had too watch the end of a lifetime movie. nattttttttttts

    • paul brandt - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      bro, swm, love me some lifetime movies!!

  108. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    And nearly 200 comments again tonight. Looks like August is over (even if it doesn’t feel like it).

    • Section 222 - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      testing

  109. nats106 - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Jose Fernandez – my choice for rookie of the year! I root for anybody who can agitate the Braves. I now root for the Nationals and whoever is playing the Braves.

  110. natsfan1a - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Atta way, Danny! Untucked here, and the cat just had a victory treat.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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