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Game 161: Nats at Diamondbacks

Sep 28, 2013, 4:43 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PHOENIX — By no stretch of the imagination was Dan Haren’s first season with the Nationals a success. Which is why there’s virtually no chance Haren will have a second season with the Nationals. Give the veteran right-hander credit, though. He never made any excuses for his poor performance. And he battled his way back to pitch very respectably after the All-Star break.

Tonight, Haren will get one final chance to leave a positive impression on the Nationals and their fans, getting the start in Game 161 against one of his former clubs: the Diamondbacks. Haren has had plenty of success inside this ballpark, owning a 23-14 record and 3.39 ERA in 44 career starts at Chase Field. Arizona counters with Brandon McCarthy, who in his first season with the D’backs struggled to an 5-10 record and 4.64 ERA.

And, of course, the real story tonight is whether the Nats can win and ensure Davey Johnson finishes his managerial career at least 300 games over the .500 mark. If it happens, I fully expect Davey to jump into the pool behind the right-field fence. With champagne bottles in both hands.

Updates to come, so please come back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Where: Chase Field
Gametime: 8:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees, Wind 2 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (85-75)
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
1B Chad Tracy
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RHP Dan Haren

DIAMONDBACKS (80-80)
CF Adam Eaton
RF Gerardo Parra
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Martin Prado
C Miguel Montero
3B Matt Davidson
2B Chris Owings
SS Didi Gregorius
RHP Brandon McCarthy

UMPIRES
HP Wally Bell
1B Tripp Gibson
2B Tim McClelland (cc)
3B Marty Foster

8:11 p.m. — We are underway on another gorgeous night in the Valley of Sun. It’s 85 degrees and the roof and panels here are open.

8:23 p.m. — A 1-2-3 top of the first for Brandon McCarthy. Dan Haren wasn’t quite as fortunate, allowing a bloop single to Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the inning. But Haren otherwise was strong, striking out Adam Eaten during a scoreless first frame.

8:41 p.m. — A little bit of trouble for Haren in the bottom of the second, which included a two-out double by Chris Owings and a subsequent walk to Didi Gregorius. But Haren took care of business and struck out McCarthy to end that inning with no damage done. The Nats, meanwhile, are still looking for their first baserunner of the night as we move to the third inning.

9:25 p.m. — Sorry for the lack of updates. I was down in the stands the last couple innings with family. But this remains a scoreless game through five, with both McCarthy and Haren cruising along with minimal resistance from either lineup. Nice little pitcher’s duel going on here as we move to the sixth.

9:36 p.m. — But just like that, the Nats take a 1-0 lead. Denard Span led off the top of the sixth with a triple, his 11th of the season. And moments later, he scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s grounder, putting the Nats on top. Span currently leads the majors in triples, and if he can finish it off he’d become the first D.C.-based player ever to do that. Pretty cool.

9:49 p.m. — Make it 2-0 as Chad Tracy continues to take advantage of his rare opportunity to start. Tracy launched a deep flyball in the third, singled in the fifth and just now crushed a homer into the pool. So now Haren has a 2-run lead to work with as he takes the mound for the bottom of the seventh, sitting on 87 pitches.

9:57 p.m. — What a finish for Haren: Seven scoreless innings. This season may not have gone as hoped — if the Nats hold this lead, he’ll finish 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 30 starts — but props to Dan for finishing strong. He went 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA over his last 12 starts and capped it off with a stellar performance tonight.

10:11 p.m. — A 1-2-3 eighth for Drew Storen, who continues to pitch well down the stretch. So it remains 2-0 as we go to the ninth, and the Nats are now three outs from ensuring Davey Johnson finishes his career 300 games over the .500 mark. You can literally cut the tension with a knife here at Chase Field.

10:35 p.m. — There it is! The Nats win 2-0 as Rafael Soriano puts two on in scoring position but wriggles out of the jam to  ensure Davey will finish his career at least 300 games over .500! Remember where you are, so you’ll remember where you were!

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Glad to see that the Pirates won and will host the play-in (ake wild card) game against the Reds. I hope they win it and then give their long-suffering fans a chance to see a full playoff series (or two or three).

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Sorry, ‘aka’ is how that should read.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Me, too.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    So, if Davey Johnson were to jump into said pool, as Mark Zuckerman suggests, would Sen. McCain take time off from his video poker playing to tweet his disapproval? And would the Diamondbacks bean Bryce Harper on Sunday (everyone else does) to protect the integrity of their hot tub?

  3. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 2m
    Gio pitching tomorrow. He calls starting Davey’s last game, “truly an honor.”

    It’s good for Gio. He’ll go over 200 innings with 4 1/3 and he can go over 200 strikeouts if he strikes out 8 (a little bit harder, but doable).

  4. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    I can’t believe Hunter Pence got 5 years / 90 million.

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    “It isn’t the high price of stars that is expensive, it’s the high price of mediocrity.”
    Bill Veeck

  6. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak 20s
    Looks like Adam LaRoche is getting scratched from today’s lineup. Chad Tracy getting the start at 1B instead for #nats.

    Because clearly Tracy needs the start more than Tyler Moore.

  7. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    lol

    “If it happens, I fully expect Davey to jump into the pool behind the right-field fence. With champagne bottles in both hands.”

  8. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Manager Buck Showalter has five players who are unavailable for health reasons, including Michael Morse, who’s been shut down with lingering soreness in his right wrist.
    Morse didn’t inform the club of his injury until three or four days ago, according to Showalter.
    Morse, who’s still with the team, will to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield in Sarasota. He also will go to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion and decide whether surgery is required.

    Morse, acquired from the Mariners on Aug. 31 for outfielder Xavier Avery, went 3-for-29 with no extra-base hits with the Orioles. He’s a pending free agent and not expected to return in 2014.

    http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/09/morse-shut-down-with-wrist-injury.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Morse was 0-for-24 with the Orioles.

      • Steady Eddie - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        No, he went 2/4 and 1/3, all singles, in his first 2 games with the Os.

        Then nothing beyond a couple of walks.

  9. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Come on, Danny. You can do it. Go, Dan! Go, NATS!!

    • Faraz Shaikh - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      for a sec, I thought Danny was in the lineup.

  10. natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    haha, so I’m late on this but nice Natural allusion by Werth in his postgame interviews in regard to replacement of his broken bat (and his subsequent dinger delivery).

    “So it reached as far as it could go, I guess,” Werth said. “The bat boy, I think his name was Bobby. He ran out the Savoy Special to me and we got it done.”

  11. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Here are some interesting quotes:

    Asked if he would like to manage the team as a player/manager, #Nats OF Jayson Werth thought about it and said, “That’s a tough one. I have to be careful what I say. The answer is yes. But I haven’t made a decision if I’m going to put my name in. In the end, I don’t think A) I want to manage or B) I want to be play and manage just because of the headache of the whole thing. I don’t think I want to play and manage at the same time, but I’ve considered it. I haven’t decided to put my name in or not.

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Werth shows you how even guys who are 35 or 36 aren’t fully grown up. Player managers haven’t worked since Lou Boudreau.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      From his quotes, it sounds like he knows it wouldn’t work out. But it also sounds like he has a big interest in managing. I could see him managing very soon after his career is over.

      • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        I think he would manage if he were a bench player, but with the year he’s had, even if you factor in regression, you have to figure he’ll still be a full-time player next season, and probably go to LF with Bryce in RF at some point.

      • Steady Eddie - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Werth has also been around baseball more than long enough to know how to pull reporters’ chains.

        Not that he doesn’t have some interest, but per Nats Lady’s comment, knows now is not the time — and who knows how long a new manager will be around? Could be many years if it goes right.

  13. Theophilus T.S. - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Morse’s season has been so miserable I could see him having to sign a minor league deal for next season.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      I don’t know about that, but in the category of strange contract/roster news, I read that the Blue Jays added Ryan Langerhans to their expanded roster a couple of days ago and, indeed, he seems to have gotten a couple of hits in their win over the Rays today. Ryan Langerhans? Quite frankly, I just assumed he was out of baseball by now.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Ribs? In Toronto? (Don’t mind me, just reminiscing. :-))

    • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      I was thinking that, too. But if he’s healthy and hitting, he wouldn’t stay in the minors long–too much need for offense.

  14. Baseballswami - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I just read on twitter that the auction the Nats did with their game worn jerseys for the Navy Yard charity raised sixty thousand dollars!!!! I think the organization has been a very good neighbor in lots of ways. When I think that Peter Angelos wanted to block this it makes my blood boil. Even though it has not been that long, I hardly remember DC without the Nats and the stadium. It all just fits. The area is blooming. I see curly W’s all over the place. I find myself trying to remember following baseball neutrally and not having a home team for many years. This has been an interesting ride so far. Go Nats!!!!!

    • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      I think the Nats muffler was a great giveaway. I expect to see them all winter… I also like not having naming rights for Nats Park. Everytime there is traffic, it’s like an advertisement—slow up near Nationals Park. I think Texas, Yanks and Nats are the only teams with their own names on the stadium, am I missing any?

      (from a previous thread) Wedge said he wouldn’t resign with the M’s even if they offered him a five-year contract. He said they were going “different directions.” Anyone who saw Moneyball, remember the manager who kept playing Carlos Pena over the guy Billy Beane wanted at first base–until Beane traded Pena to Detroit?

      • Jw - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

      • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        Oh, right. Blocked it out. And I guess Fenway Park is named for its location.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        Art Howe, I believe.

  15. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    On naming, agree simple ‘Nationals Park’ sounds nice, but if can sell the rights for $5m or $10m/year that buys you an additional one or two WAR per year.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      It’s especially important since we’re being screwed out of TV money. Every little bit helps. I’m surprised the naming rights haven’t been sold yet, honestly. I’ll be a little bit sad when they are sold, but the team getting money to invest on talent is more important than the name of the ballpark.

  16. acsportsfn - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    FP tweeted not to miss second segment of pregame.

    • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      OK. I don’t usually watch pre- or post-game, but I’ll make an exception. ;)

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      OK, so I missed it.

      What did I miss?

  17. braveheart1 - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    To go back to a theme on a previous thread, the inability (or reluctance) to play small ball when necessary. It reminds me of a beer league softball team that I was kind of the unofficial scorekeeper for. There were a number of guys on the team who all knew each other for a long time. As an aside, Tim Brant from channel 7 was on the team. Anyway, they were a bunch of guys who were in their mid to late thirties. I’m sure when they were younger they hit home runs regularly, but at that point they would hit one long fly ball out after another. I tried at times to talk to them about just dropping in base hits, but they would have none of it. They just kept trying to hit home runs. I hve thought of those guys a lot this year watching the Nats.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      So I have a bunch of old guys who hit singles. We need a scorekeeper.

      Seriously.

  18. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I’m sorry, and maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m really disgusted with Davey, asking Gio to pitch when he was already in off-season mentally and physically–just so Davey can have a personal record. If Gio gets injured, and that injury impacts next season, I will REALLY be mad.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      He asked him a few days ago so that Gio could get his side session in. He’s on normal rest too. I see nothing wrong with it. Plus, Gio can go after 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. It benefits them both.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      Gio wants to pitch. We’ll see if it was a good idea, but it wasn’t entirely Davey’s idea.

      Gio likes to play baseball. That’s a good thing.

  19. Baseballswami - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Nats Lady- and some parting shots at Rizzo. As in saying publicly that the Nats woukd have won the world series if Stras had not been shut down. Zing. thanks for playing. As for naming rights– what about the Amazon guy who is buying the Washington Post? Bezos? I would be ok with Washington Post Field. Not just any old thing, though. Don’t want Nats Park to look like the Vegas strip.

  20. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Is it me, or are these D-Back uni’s the ugliest thing?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      I dunno, these are pretty bad.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      but I do miss the old purple and teal

  21. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Tracy hit that ball 400 feet. Jeez.

  22. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    I just can’t believe the season is almost over…. *sigh*

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      I hear ya, MrsB. I say that every year.

  23. Hiram Hover - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    If I just heard FP right, he said Chad Tracy complained that he didn’t get enough ABs this year and that’s the reason he was cold.

    That’s ass-backwards, for 2 different reasons.

    A. He didn’t get more ABs this year because has hitting like crap.

    B. He had fewer ABs last year and his OPS was about 250 pts higher.

  24. Hiram Hover - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Thanks, DP–tho I have to say, the longer version sounds even more self-pitying and ridiculous.

    • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      Chad Tracy wants a job next year. Somewhere.

    • Hiram Hover - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      Having said that – props for the bomb.

      Making the most of the chances you get is how you get more.

  25. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    9:25 p.m. — Sorry for the lack of updates. I was down in the stands the last couple innings with family. But this remains a scoreless game through five, with both McCarthy and Haren cruising along with minimal resistance from either lineup. Nice little pitcher’s duel going on here as we move to the sixth.

    The bloom is off the rose. The magic is broken. The Zuckerman Effect has lost its mojo. *sigh*.

    But our best to the rels.

  26. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 3m
    Jayson Werth: Cal Ripken “would be my No. 1 choice” to manage the Nats. He also endorses Randy Knorr.

    Well then.

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    In the pool!! Chad Tracy!!

    OVER the pool.

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Jayson Werth: Cal Ripken “would be my No. 1 choice” to manage the Nats. He also endorses Randy Knorr.

    Somebody needs to stfu. Srsly.

    • Hiram Hover - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Hey, everybody deals with these last meaningless days in different ways.

      ALR packs up his apartment before the season is even over–but to be fair, he finally did some heavy lifting.

      Jayson Werth dispenses as much BS as he can, to see how much the reporters will swallow.

      • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        Yeah. First it was Cholly… then it was “I haven’t decided [about himself as player-manager]…now Cal Ripken… Randy Knorr…

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        You think he has that much of a sense of humor?

        I’m willing to take your word for it, I’m just asking.

      • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        Um, yes.

      • Hiram Hover - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        Sofa – I do.

        I also think he’s not too fond of the press (I say that as a general matter, not in relation to any specific reporter), and so I think taking the piss out of them would appeal to him.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Hiram, if that’s the case then I take it back. If.

      • Steady Eddie - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        I suspect Jayson’s comment about Cal was also a bit of the poke at Rizzo for saying about the choice of new manager, ” I don’t think that’s a place for the players to dabble in.” Looks like Jayson May have taken that as a bit of a dis considering how effectively he mentors some if the younger players.

        Certainly Rizzo was within his rights on that but it was more than a little but of a snotty way to say it.

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    For those of you not watching TV, FP and Carp point out that Denard Span now leads MLB in triples. So there’s that. Which is nice.

    Addition by subtraction. That’s all I’m saying.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Wow, wth was that? “I got it – I got it – I got it – you take it.”

    Interesting that Chad Tracy and Dan Haren shook hands after that last out, maybe the last time for them to play together.

  31. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Since coming back from AAA, Drew’s ERA is 1.47 with a .209 BAA. And that’s before tonight’s scoreless inning, so it will go down.

    • David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      1.40 including tonight.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        Props, Drew.

        I always liked that guy.

  32. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    You can literally cut the tension with a knife here at Chase Field.

    They allow knives there? Well, that’s the red states.

  33. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Geez, does Zach Walters look about 17 years old, or what?

  34. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    TUKKED UP.

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Maybe my last chance to say this: Pitche Soriano! Ponche Soriano!

  36. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Span is UNREAL!!!!

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Dang, I want Span back.

    Oh, he’s already back. Good.

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    One lil ol ground ball, here, Soriano.

    • NatsLady - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      geez, he looked SO dominant the last time out, best I’d seen him all season. Wild pitch??? Come ON.

  39. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    OK, still just one lil ol ground ball right at somebody…

  40. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    OK, first base is now open. No problem.

    Hm. Hmmmmmmm.

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    OK, high fastball FTK…

  42. Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Where is Randy Knorr? He would pull Soriao by now..

    • Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Well we won, but Soriano just ticks me off he pitches so maaloxy (if there was siuch a word)

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        There is now. It’s on the Internet.

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    oooooh, low hard slider FTK. Even better.

  44. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    2-9
    2-9
    2-9

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Wow, Julie going right at Chad Tracy. Good for her and her producers

  45. dgourds - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    I just hate Soriano. He’s just awful. I don’t care how many saves he had this season. He’s not a plauoff caliber closer.

    • Manassas Nats Fan - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      He is not awful, but he ticks me off.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        It’s a free country, you’re very much welcome to your opinion. I love the guy.

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    virtually standing and clapping

    UNTUCKED

    • dgourds - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      You love the guy? Really? You trust him to be your closer on the final game of a playoff series? He’s simply not very good. He leaves too many balls up in the zone. He’s careless. He doesn’t make adjustments. He has poor command. I’d take Clippard over him in a heartbeat.

  47. David Proctor - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Just another Soriano save.

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)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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