Skip to content

Game 19: Cardinals at Nats

Apr 20, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

It’s a new day at Nationals Park, which means Bryce Harper is out of the doghouse and back into the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see what the fan reaction is when his name is announced and when he steps to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the first. It’ll also be interesting, of course, to see how hard Harper runs out of the box the first time he makes contact this afternoon.

Beyond that juicy storyline, the Nationals also need to win today to salvage a four-game series split with the Cardinals. They’ve got Stephen Strasburg on the mound, coming off a terrible start in Miami and hoping to get himself back on track. St. Louis gives the ball to young Shelby Miller.

Plenty of updates to come…

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS VS. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside D.C. market), MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Anthony Rendon
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Stephen Strasburg

CARDINALS
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Jon Jay
LF Allen Craig
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
SS Jhonny Peralta
2B Mark Ellis
CF Peter Bourjos
RHP Shelby Miller

UMPIRES
HP Greg Gibson
1B Bill Miller (cc)
2B Vic Carapazza
3B Adam Hamari

1:37 p.m. — And we are underway on a deceptively chilly Sunday afternoon. It’s 58 degrees as Stephen Strasburg fires strike one to Matt Carpenter, but with the wind blowing in, it feels much, much colder. At least up here in the mile-high press box, that is.

1:42 p.m. — Wow, no first inning issues for Strasburg today. He threw six straight strikes to start his afternoon and finished with 12 of 14 pitches for strikes overall. He struck out Carpenter and Allen Craig on curveballs and mixed in a couple of devastating changeups along the way. Impressive way to get this one underway.

1:49 p.m. — A 1-2-3 bottom of the first for Shelby Miller, including a grounder to short off Bryce Harper’s bat. Harper, for what it’s worth, busted down the line and actually came close to beating it out. Scoreless after one.

1:59 p.m. — The Cardinals get a run off Strasburg in the second, thanks to a leadoff double by Matt Adams and a subsequent single to right by Yadier Molina. The Nats, though, were happy to give up the run in exchange for a 6-4-3 double play off Jhonny Peralta’s bat. So Strasburg trails 1-0, but it could’ve been worse.

2:16 p.m. — Strasburg gets back to business in the top of the third, retiring the side. He has four strikeouts so far through three, with the Nats still trailing 1-0.

2:35 p.m. — The Nats had a rally going in the bottom of the third, started by (of all people) Strasburg, who battled through a great at-bat and wound up drawing a walk. The crowd showed its appreciation for that effort. Harper also worked to a full count before walking, and Werth then reached on four straight balls. But with the bases loaded and two out, LaRoche whiffed mightily at a 96 mph fastball, losing his bat in the process. The bat hit the backstop on the fly. So, nothing doing for the Nats, who still trail 1-0 after three.

2:43 p.m. — Some more absolutely filthy changeups from Strasburg in the top of the fourth, producing a couple more strikeouts. He’s got six Ks through four innings now and has been cruising. His teammates, of course, will need to get something going to give him a lead at some point.

2:55 p.m. — Strasburg struck out with two on and two out in the fourth, but it was another impressive at-bat from the pitcher. The Nats collectively had battled against Miller, making him throw 77 pitches in only four innings. It hasn’t paid off yet, but it should help eventually. Still 1-0 after four.

3:08 p.m. — The good news: Strasburg struck out the side in the fifth, giving him nine for the afternoon. The bad news: He also walked No. 8 hitter Peter Bourjos, then served up an RBI double to Miller, the opposing pitcher. Shows you what happens when you ease off the gas pedal for even just a moment. So now the Nats trail 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth.

3:29 p.m. — This hasn’t exactly been a banner weekend in right field for Jayson Werth, who just looked mighty awkward trying to make a tough catch on a line drive over his head. It’s not necessarily Werth not making the catch, but the way he looked trying to make it. This has been more of a recurring theme than the Nats would like. Meanwhile, Strasburg is at 90 pitches through six innings, but with the Nats trailing 2-0 and the pitcher’s spot due up fourth, that might be it for him. Craig Stammen has begun warming in the pen.

3:47 p.m. — Well, there was the Nats’ best chance of the day. They had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the sixth, with Span and Harper up. Mike Matheny, though, had Randy Choate at his disposal, and the savvy left-hander managed to induce groundballs out of both hitters. That would be the argument against having Harper hit second behind Span. It only encourages an opposing manager to bring in lefties and create tough matchups in big spot. Still 2-0 Cards in the seventh.

4:05 p.m. — I take it back. The Nats gave themselves an even better chance in the bottom of the seventh. And this time, they delivered with four straight singles off Carlos Martinez. LaRoche, Rendon, Desmond and Espinosa all came through, with Espinosa’s RBI single to right tying the game 2-2. Danny is now hitting .303 this season left-handed, a remarkable turnaround for him. Brand new ballgame, tied heading into the eighth now.

4:18 p.m. — I guess that’s why the Nats went out and made the acquisition of Jerry Blevins a priority this winter. He just struck out Matt Adams with two outs and the go-ahead run in scoring position to close out the top of the eighth. Still 2-2 here.

4:37 p.m. — Nice job by Harper in the bottom of the eighth with an opposite-field single off lefty Kevin Siegrist. Then he stole second base, his first steal of the season. Of course that was bound to happen today. But with Harper in scoring position, Rendon had no chance against the sidewinding Pat Neshek. He struck out looking. So it’s on to the ninth in a 2-2 game, with Rafael Soriano in from the Nationals’ bullpen.

4:40 p.m. — Quick work from Soriano in retiring the side. So it’ll be Desmond, Espinosa and Lobaton in the bottom of the ninth againast right-hander Seth Maness.

4:56 p.m. — Nats win. Denard Span drives in Danny Espinosa with a bases loaded sac fly to give them a 3-2, walk-off win.

260 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Every day I hope this team becomes the team I hope it will be. Maybe today is that day.

    • secretwasianman - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Hiram Hover - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    This is the beautiful thing about baseball–whatever happened yesterday, there’s another game today.

    Get it done, boys!

  3. secretwasianman - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Hopefully when Bryce comes up for that first AB we won’t be behind.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      +1

  4. wearenationals - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I hope Stras has a better outing today. Keep calm and throw strikes.

  5. Doc - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Different day, different game.

    Let’s play ball!

  6. acsportsfn - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Hey guys, WGN has a 2 hour special Saturday 5-7 pm on the 100 th anniversary of Wrigley Field. Anybody here anymore about Kimbrel? Hope Strasburg has it going today. A split with the Cardinals will hopefully let us move on from yesterday.

    • NatsLady - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Fredi says he’s fine and available to pitch today. Not sure if I should hope he’s needed or not.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        Fredi will have him on the DL soon enough. Velo was there and the Mets were still hitting him.

  7. NatsLady - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    OK, your guess is as good as mine.

    • Sonny G 10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Hmmmm…….maybe picking his nose too hard!

      • adcwonk - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        Or, that old joke that he broke his finger because somebody punched him in the nose . . .

  8. davecydell - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Stras? will it be 93/94 or 96/97 ?

    • iconicwoodencap - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      I’ll take either speed. I’m really hoping for good command and pitch selection, right? Fingers crossed. show your Ace stuff, Stras!

      Go Nats.

  9. snerdblurter - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Alex Gonzalez released. I guess I respect Dombroski for not caring about looking like a complete idiot, but….. he looks like a complete idiot…

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      +1

      That’s hilarious.

    • snerdblurter - Apr 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Although I guess I should bite my tongue until we see a healthy, effective Fister.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      At least he didn’t keep him a full season (Tracy). All GMs make mistakes but correct them quickly.

  10. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Are we gonna step up today or just keep losing to these guys? This game looms large for Stras and the team, imo.

    • snerdblurter - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      2-2 capped off with a resounding W sounds a hell of a lot better than 1-3. Lets go Stras!!!!!

  11. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    How about some error free ball today?

  12. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Things that make you go “hmm,” Cleveland Indians edition: Nyjer Morgan .348, Michael Bourne .071.

    Hmm.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Where’s Nyjer swinging his bat this weekend?

      • knoxvillenat - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Toledo?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Exactly. Nyjer was the placeholder until Bourn came off the DL.

      • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Columbus, I think.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Some AAA city where he belongs.

  13. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    No runs in the 1st!!!! Baby steps.

  14. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Love it when a pitchers off speed stuff is working… Great inning SS… Hoping for 6 more, just like that! :-)

  15. sunshinebobby - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Harp hustle off the field fast enough for you, Skip?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Ball seems to always spin kind of funny off a left hander…

  16. sunshinebobby - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Full 90 foot run on that groundout by Harp. Matty Boy must be ecstatic.

  17. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Uhm, 6 pitches… Was hoping for a little more…

  18. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Stop talking about this stupid Bryce crap. Time to move on.

  19. sunshinebobby - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Stras begins his meltdown…

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    That swing wasn’t for anything other than moving the runner…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      You nailed it. It’s the approach and execution and guys like Molina get it.

  21. scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Another early hole. Seems like every day. At least today we got to 2 tied.

  22. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I’ll take that.

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Molina the whole at-bat is trying to hit rightside to move the runner on 2nd.

    This is what I was talking about with men on 2nd and 1st and no outs on Thursday night against Waino. Espinosa flew out to LF instead of pulling the ball as he was batting lefty in that AB. Molina went oppo there and rewarded with a single.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      See my comment at 1:54… Wasn’t as detailed… Bbt he shortened the swing and did his job…

  24. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Good recovery SS…

  25. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Pitch 3 was a called a k when it was a clear ball…

  26. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Speaking of Tyler Clippard…Nats/MW is going to have to figure something out for/with him this year… He’s had more bad moments than good… Not fooling anyone with pitches, etc….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Are you reading my emails? I wouldnt be surprised if Barrett doesn’t become the 7th inning setup to Storen for the 8th when Barrett comes back.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Hahaha… I’m not apart of the illustrious email club :-(

        I’ve never been a Tyler Clippard fan.. Never ever thought anyone could be successful with only 2 pitches. That said, it’s possible he was/has been over used and it’s finally catching up to him…

        I don’t like when people own innings (maybe, except the closer).. I think it should depend on performance etc. we are lucky as heck Storen came to the rescue the other day.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        MrsB I couldnt tell who is who on these email strings as names and email addresses are totally different than the names used on NI. People can talk much more freely in emails.

        The Clippard discussion and the errors and mental blunders and inconsistent starters are hot discussion points.

    • scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      It appears everyone is just sitting on the high fastball

  27. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    On Molina’s single with no outs Adams stopped at 3rd. Scouting on Werth this year is run on his arm but with a slow runner and no outs the Cardinals did the right thing.

  28. scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    When you look at us right now we are not as good as the Cards or Braves as much as it pains me to say that. They know how to win. Our vaunted staff gets out pitched when faced with an equal or better pitcher. Our ‘stars’ on the mound have to start winning the battles; there are some nights that giving up 1 or 2 runs are too many and we need to get on the right side of that.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I don’t agree with you but what happened that you called it so quickly…

      Our line up is capable of scoring at least 4 runs a game and quite honestly. That should be enough given the history of our SP… Outside of Taylor J, Gio, Zimm and SS (so far) have been good. Zimm was doomed by that dumb error…

      I think people don’t realize how good the Cards are… Storied franchise with wining built in the mind set… I mean these at bats Ive seen over the course of these 4 days have been outstanding… Look at Molina’s at bat today…

      If the Nats can play error free ball, we see what happens (we won the game with Gio pitching and they had 3 errors)

      This seems to be the first year where the Earl Weaver way isn’t being preached. Going to be a few kinks to work out… Bat yes, the defense MUST improve and. Our SP must become more consistent… Maybe with Fister back, it helps stabilize it and when Ramos, R RZimm return we can get to it…

      Don’t lose faith yet… :-)

    • Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      “Not as good as” is a pretty wide and not very useful generalization. We are every bit as good as those two teams when we execute properly and play tight, disciplined ball. If you lead the league in errors, you’re not going to beat good teams frequently. In virtually all of the games we’ve lost to the Braves and Cards, we made one or more errors or baserunning mistakes, etc., and those two good teams took advantage of them. In the two games we won against them – ugh, only two! – We’ve played error-free ball and took advantage of their mistakes.

      That’s been the difference this year.

      • scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        My point us we don’t do those things, we find a way to lose against better teams. The easiest way to look at it is wins and losses and for the last two years the Cards and Braves have owned us.

      • Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        Easiest, maybe, but also the most simplistic and pointless way of looking at it. Are you really saying that the Nats are not capable of playing well enough to beat these teams? That the worst fielding, most boneheaded team in the majors is who the Nats are? The point is that the Braves and Cards have consistently played at a high level, and much more often than not we have beaten ourselves by giving them gift opportunities time after time and taking them away from ourselves. We are repeatedly pressing too much and leaving out the “relax” from Annie Savoy’s “relax and concentrate” mantra.

      • scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        And Eddie we have been doing it for 2 years. When the pressure is on this team does not step up. Sure wish they would.

  29. Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    The other lesson or illustration from Molina’s at-bat is that he really reached down low and outside to get that ball to hit to right. If the only pitches in the zone the pitcher is going to give you are ones that you can really only hit to the wrong side of the field, then you have to look for the opportunity to do what Molina did they there, which is take a pitch you can get to to put it where you want it to be. Reminds me of Tyler Moore’s game-winning hit in the first game of the NL DS. It was outside but he reached out and put it to right field for two run single.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Exactly! That’s execution on his approach. Doesn’t always work as Stras should’ve been pounding him inside more.

  30. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Shelby isn’t getting that outside…

  31. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Nice AB, Stras.

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Please, make that lead off work hurt them…

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Strasburg sees 9 pitches and batters 1-8 averaged 4 pitches in their ABs first time through the order vs Miller.

  34. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Another good at bat… Let’s get some 2 out magic going here…

  35. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Maybe the memo got out to work the count.

  36. Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Frustrating for Span – he’s had a good approach in both of his at-bats and hit the ball on the nose, just right at people.

    Looking at the game on TV, another thing that struck me is that several of the hitters – Harper, Desmond, and Espinosa especially – don’t seem to have their timing down. They’re fouling off a lot of pitches straight back. Miller is not pitching especially masterful game thus far, we’re just mostly not taking advantage of the opportunities we get.

    Nice to see Harper’s plate discipline there, getting that walk. Here’s hoping Werth can break out of his current mini slump. With Miller having trouble finding the strike so there could be at least one juicy one that Werth can cash on.

  37. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Need to capitalize here. Leggo!

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Wow Miller… Okay Mr LaRoche aka Clean up hitter… Clean it up… Score some runs…

  39. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Please… Shorten the swing and get a base hit… Keep the line moving…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      He will never do that. You’re thinking of the Barves 1st baseman.

      Accept it and move on. LaRoche is all or nothing

  40. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Really? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    And this is the stuff that pisses me off…why do you bail Miller out… Why… He hasn’t proven that he can throw a K… And Adam just swings,,,

    • Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      At least the first two strikes of those pitches were in the zone. Gross just wasn’t even close to making contact.

      • Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Gross for LaRoche seems about right.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Didnt think the 2nd pitch he swung at was a K… Looked high and outside…

      • Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        According to GameDay it was well in the zone on the outer half.

  42. Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Ugh, LaRoche — talk about not having your timing down! I can’t think that that missed opportunity won’t come back to haunt us.

    Once again, not cashing in on the opportunities the other teams’ mistakes are giving us.

  43. philipd763 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Pathetic, this team can’t hit good pitching.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      Well Miller hasn’t been good this year.

  44. philipd763 - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Well, if Miller isn’t good, then this makes the Nats hitters look even more pathetic!

  45. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Good inning SS…

    Let’s score some runs this time fellas….

  46. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Espi breaks up the no-no…borderline hi lev sitch ;)

  47. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Its about time Lobaton.

  48. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Wow…this strike zone is ridiculous. Wtf? Has it been like this all day? Just getting home from the gig/easter brunch.

  49. Steady Eddie - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    This Home plate ump is a terrible front runner. First he was calling a very tight zone, especially low, against Miller. Since the Laroche strikeout, he’s been giving Miller every corner, really pretty wide of this, inside outside and low. The image of inconsistency.

    Well Stras, If you want to get a run, looks like you’ll have to drive yourself.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      In Adam’s first at bat… Pitch 3 was outside (clearly) and called for a K… Going back to Adam’s other at bat, I’m thinking that’s why he swung at the outside pitches…

      Not making excuses but just an observation,

  50. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Look at SS… So far another good at bat

  51. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    WOW! Amazing K of Ellis. Dayum

  52. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    SP is not the problem today….

  53. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Yeah… I was thinking… Fastball inner.. Didnt like that pitch selection….

  54. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Wow…

  55. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Unreal. We’re cursed.

    • texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      That’s not bad luck, just stupid pitching screwing around with the eight hole hitter , just like fp is stressing

  56. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Man oh man. Why did Stras nibble to an 8 hole hitter on the interstate?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      That’s the question. Throw him the express with bases empty.

  57. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Cue meltdown…..

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Or not…!

      • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Really bizarre.

      • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Good!

  58. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Strasburg can only blame himself for that run.

  59. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    SS has pitched well… Made 1 mistake… Only 2 runs… Miller can be had… Come on offense, get to work.

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Agreed. If the trend of the last two innings continues…

      Go Nats!!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      It’s taking advantage as Miller just isn’t that good. He’s giving the Nats pitches to drive.

  60. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    This is a huge inning. Pitcher on the ropes. Make him work.

  61. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Hey Steady… Finally seems to pay off for Span…

    Come on Harp… Keep the line moving…

  62. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Time to pounce. 3rd time thru the order…leadoff single.

  63. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Ohhh harp… That was right down the middle…

  64. philipd763 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    This season is looking so much like last season for the Nationals, and I thought Davey and Eckstein were the problems.

  65. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Oh Bryce… That was horrible…

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    That hit him…

  67. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Horrible AB by Harper. Come on.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Snickers… Yes it was…

      2nd pitch was a fat azz meatball right down the middle…

  68. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    If it takes a HBP to get on, so be it.

  69. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Oh MAN am I glad Werth has that brace. Sheesh.

  70. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Freaking MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN NATS! Argh!!

  71. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Someone get a hit….please, for the love of God.

  72. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Laroche has been swinging for the fences in some key at bats today

  73. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Unbelievable.

  74. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Why Anthony… Why… Again, miller hasn’t shown he can throw a K.. And you go hacking on the first pitch….

    Ugh.

  75. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Bleep.

  76. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Has rendon been taking hitting approach notes from Desmond today? Let this pitcher throw some pitches for goodness sake. He’s been trying to throw himself out of the game for several innings now, but they won’t let him.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Sitting fastball. He saw one he liked and didn’t get it.

      Keep in mind Nats lead MLB in run differential from the 6th inning on.

  77. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Here, I gift wrapped like 4 runs for you guys. Oh? No? OK, I can take ‘em back…only if you insist…Well OK then.

  78. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Even span should not have hacked at that first pitch .

  79. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Werth gotta make that catch.

  80. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    He went up for the high fastball…. Horrible defense Jayson….

  81. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    I agree w/FP and Carp: I think Werth lost the ball in the sun.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      The problem is…this entire series, Jayson hasn’t played particularly well over there… So idk… This time, he may have but his play in RF hasn’t been inspiring lately…

  82. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Dez needs to get going. Now would be the time. DONT SWING AT THE 1ST PITCH!!!!!

    • texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Oh he’s swinging. But that is who he is.

  83. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Why is everyone swinging for the fences? Its only a 2 run lead.

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Very frustrating

      • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        The wind is blowing in, too. Makes no sense.

  84. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Not taking advantage of opportunities…. Is KILLING the Nats….

    • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Time to change that trend.

  85. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Lobo having a nice game. Controlled approach.

    Glad they ran this guy before he completed 6

  86. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Bottom of the rotation is contributing… Gosh, I wish Espi was running..

    Now, don’t we lead in scoring from the 6th on…

    LETS SCORE SOME RUNS!!!!!

  87. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Lobaton up above Mendoza now with a 2-3 day at .211

  88. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I wish Souza Jr was still here…

  89. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Every time Z Walters gets in the game, something good happens… Lol…

  90. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    OK!!!

    Now…
    C-A-P-I-T-A-L-I-Z-E!!!

  91. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    What’s this? A break?

  92. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Make them pay Nats!

  93. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Cheated is good vs lefties…

  94. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Pitchout for squeeze!

  95. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    WALK DENARD… WALK DENARD… WALDK DENARD….

  96. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    ARGH!

  97. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Dangit…

  98. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    This is what you live for Bryce.

  99. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Double Bryce… Double…

  100. scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    It is amazing how this team can leave this many on base and not make solid contact when it counts.

    I know the Cards are good but weren’t we supposed to be too?

  101. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Unh unh unh….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      That’s where stacking leftys That was decision time for MW as he could have gone to lefty killer Frandsen for Span and put Frandsen in LF and Bryce in CF.

      You need runs and MW had a choice. At least you hope Span elevates one for a Sac Fly or you put on the squeeze.

  102. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Pathetic.

  103. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Just absolutely blows my mind…

  104. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Not taking advantage of opportunities… Simple as that….

  105. davecydell - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Harper WAS NOT running that one out !!!!

  106. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    But this also calls to question having 2 LHB at the top of the line up…

    • scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Wouldn’t matter our right hand bats are as clutch as our left hand bats right now. Just have nothing going on.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        It could have mattered… Check Choates numbers vs righties as opposed to lefties…

  107. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Bleep again.

  108. knoxvillenat - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Question, why not hit Frandsen for Span in that situation?

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Still tight enough that we need Span’s D? Out number 2 in the top of the 7th being exhibit A

  109. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Much better inning this time Stammen…

  110. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Please don’t ruin another day. Win this game you bums!

  111. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    We really are just absolutely horrid with RISP, aren’t we. What’s up with that?

  112. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Shift fail.

  113. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Yay!!!!!!!

  114. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Nice nice nice….

  115. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    ESPINOSA!!!! HIGHEST OF HI LEV!! WOO!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Yes, that was big. That’s what I’ve been waiting to see!

      See my message above about Nats 6th inning and later.

  116. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Espi is back!!!!!! Im gonna keep saying it.

  117. scnatsfan - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    No one has been harder on Espi then me and I love he is proving me wrong

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      I’ll associate myself with those sentiments.

  118. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I like Frandsen here. Keep it alive!!

  119. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Finally… Taking advantage of opportunities…

  120. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    How do we feel about Espinosa in the #2 hole, while he’s feelin’ it?

    • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      I dont swing that way. Have at it.

      • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        You bad.

      • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        LOL

  121. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Frandsen can’t run, apparently? He looked like Walter Brennan.

    • veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Looked like a pulled hammy the way he was running.

      • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        That would be…unfortunate.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        I saw — and wondered — the same thing.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Thinking the same. He didn’t make that close at 1st.

  122. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Please, God no… Don’t let Tyler Cippard come into this baseball game…

  123. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    JER-RY JER-RY JER-RY!!!

  124. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    That was a strike.

  125. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Same pitch, same place, one strike one ball. The ball actually looked better to me than the strike.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      HOMINA HOMINA HOMINA!!!!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Yep….

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Saw that too. So weird

  126. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    HUGE K

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      I’m hoping Blevins turns into Vintage Sean Burnett.

  127. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Nice job Blevins…

  128. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Blevins baby!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      +1 that was pressure pitching.

      • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        Seriously!

  129. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    FP nailed it… Was thinking the same thing on the Bryce at bat…

  130. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    This blue has been inconsistent on both sides…

  131. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    This umpire’s strike zone is somewhat unpredictable.

  132. texnat1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Outrageous called strike one on werth, strike 3 also questionable.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Yep. Of course I thought ball one was a strike.

  133. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I can’t BELIEVE Werth was called out there. This game’s hard enough as it is.

  134. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Very nice, Bryce.

  135. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Great jump….

  136. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    OK LaRoche…great time to clear the bases.

  137. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I like Rendon in this spot. Get this done here!

  138. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Whoa. What a throw.

  139. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Didnt think the inside pitch was a K… But the last one was.l. Rendon has to know that a FB is coming…

  140. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Oh Rendon. Good job by Matheny bringing in Neshek. That was tough on Rendon.

  141. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Leadoff single by Wright in bottom of tenth, vs Barves.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Dies at first.

  142. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Ladi dadi, take a seat Yadi

  143. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Never liked the closer coming in on this situation… But I understand why he does come in.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      By contrast, Kimbrel hasn’t appeared in the Braves/Mets game because he could be called on for a save. You can’t if you’re at home. As you know.

  144. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Nice inning, Soriano.

  145. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Good job, Sori.

  146. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    A walkoff win would go miles for this teams’ psyche right now.

  147. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Espi on fire.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      I would not mind seeing him bat #2, with Harper third. Would break up the all left-hander thing in situations like today’s.

      Jose, can you see? Nice hit!

  148. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Espinosa to score the winning run! Lets do it!

  149. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Woooooooooooo!!!!! Bottom of the order gettin her done

  150. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Make me eat my words, Nate.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Pretend you’re in Baltimore, dude.

  151. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Lets do this!!!!!!

  152. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Had little faith in McOut there. Phew.

  153. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Oh boy…..

  154. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Hit it right over the SS…

  155. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    That’ll work.

  156. Joe Seamhead - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Soriano again with a great inning. McLouth! Nice AB!
    Denard Span comes through!!!

  157. veejh - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Gut check win!!!!!!!!!

  158. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    YEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!

    GREAT GAME!!!

  159. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    What a game… What a series…

  160. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Schlosser in for Barves for bottom of the eleventh. Got to be Mets’ best shot.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Meh. Or not.

  161. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Espi deserved scoring that winning run! Nice ABs.

    • Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      +1!

  162. philipd763 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Great win!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      1st walkoff of the season! That was a Lombo-like Sac Fly by Span.

      Span picked himself up from that bases loaded groundout earlier in the game.

  163. Eric - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Man! Span still in full on game mode for onfield interview.

    I LOVE that we won this game with our bats. Almost glad we didn’t score on all those gimmes (almost ;) ).

    We won this purely on great pitching, solid fielding, and clutch hitting.

  164. stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Dice-K throwing BB’s.

    • stoatva - Apr 20, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Andrelton Simmons is totally money. Totally.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
Full season schedule

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.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter