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Game 30: Nats at Phillies

May 3, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PHILADELPHIA — Though there weren’t any actual fireworks here last night, there were two incidents that clearly didn’t sit well with the Nationals: Cliff Lee’s quick-pitch up-and-in to Denard Span in the fifth, and Carlos Ruiz’s high-and-hard non-slide into Ian Desmond in the ninth. How upset were the Nats with those two events? I guess we’ll find out tonight. Perhaps nothing will happen and everyone will just move on. But I wouldn’t go to the kitchen when Ruiz comes up to bat for the first time, either. Just in case.

Tanner Roark is on the mound for the Nationals, looking to keep the magic alive after his first career shutout. Roark did face the Phillies out of the bullpen last season, tossing two scoreless innings, but this is his first start against them, and his first career appearance at Citizens Bank Park, where the wind is again blowing out to right.

Veteran A.J. Burnett, off to an impressive start with the Phillies, gets the nod for Ryne Sandberg. He’ll face a Nats lineup that includes Adam LaRoche, who had to come out of last night’s game when his nagging quad strain acted up again. LaRoche, though, insisted he’d be playing tonight.

Updates to come, please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where:
Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 65 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Nate McLouth
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Tanner Roark

PHILLIES
CF Tony Gwynn Jr.
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Marlon Byrd
LF Domonic Brown
C Carlos Ruiz
3B Cody Asche
RHP A.J. Burnett

UMPIRES
HP Manny Gonzalez
1B Sean Barber
2B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)
3B Jim Reynolds

7:07 p.m. — We are underway with a fastball from A.J. Burnett to Denard Span for strike one. Some mild boos from the crowd for Span as he stepped to the plate.

7:13 p.m. — Three flyball outs from the Nats in a 1-2-3 top of the first, with Anthony Rendon sending a ball all the way to the base of the wall in center field. Looks like the ball is going to carry again tonight here.

7:28 p.m. — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Nats trail 3-0 after one inning. Yep, it happened again. Tanner Roark got himself in a jam with a one-out single by Jimmy Rollins and a walk to Chase Utley. That set the stage for Ryan Howard, who took a pitch to the opposite field for a 3-run homer. Welcome to Citizens Bank Park, Tanner. So this is, incredibly, the eighth time already in 30 games this season the Nats have given up at least three runs in the first inning. Amazing.

7:41 p.m. — The good news: Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond drew walks to lead off the top of the second. The bad news: Neither Danny Espinosa nor Nate McLouth nor Jose Lobaton was able to so much as put a ball in play. Burnett struck all three out, catching Espinosa and McLouth looking at two-seamers on the inside corner and getting Lobaton to whiff at a curveball. It’s worth noting that as good as Espinosa has been overall, he’s only 2-for-28 with runners in scoring position this season. Most of his damage has come in low-leverage situations. Still 3-0 in the middle of the second.

7:52 p.m. — Hmm, make it 4-0 Phillies after Cody Asche hammers a 3-2 fastball from Roark over the right-field wall in the bottom of the second. Roark is getting a rude welcome to this ballpark.

8:04 p.m. — Roark has settled down and retired five straight since the Asche homer. The Nats, though, have no hits in three innings against Burnett.

8:18 p.m. — Well, the Nats have a hit now. Actually, they have two, thanks to LaRoche and Desmond, the only guys to reach base so far against Burnett. But they’re now 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, four of those strikeouts, two by Espinosa. Tough to bring runners home when you don’t even make contact. Still 4-0 in the middle of the fourth.

8:28 p.m. — Doesn’t look like this is going to be Roark’s night. He gave up another run in the fourth on a pair of smoked hits by Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz. So that’s five runs allowed by Roark, matching his career high. The Nats trail 5-0 after four.

8:37 p.m. — As the always-wise Dave Jageler pointed out, I forgot to count Desmond’s infield single that didn’t advance LaRoche from second base in the top of the fourth. So the Nats actually were 1-for-6 with RISP. Well, make it 1-for-8 now after Span struck out and Rendon grounded out with Lobaton on second base in the top of the fifth. This is turning into one of those nights. Still 5-0.

8:57 p.m. — Yeah, it’s definitely one of those nights. Roark ends up charged with a career-high seven earned runs in a career-low four-plus innings. Ryan Mattheus couldn’t stop the bleeding when brought in to bail out Roark, throwing four straight balls to load the bases and then allowing a 2-run single to Byrd. It’s 7-0 after five. The Nats have come from behind nine times this season, but another one tonight would be truly epic.

9:08 p.m. — Adam LaRoche just hit a ball so high, he made it rain. Seriously. LaRoche homered with a moonshot down the right-field line, then seconds later it began to pour here. They’re still playing through it for now. It’s 7-1 Phillies in the sixth.

9:15 p.m. — And we’re now in a rain delay, with the Phillies leading 7-1 after six innings. It’s supposedly a small system that will blow through quickly. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

9:37 p.m. — And we’re back underway here in the top of the seventh after a 24-minute delay. Mario Hollands now pitching for the Phillies.

9:45 p.m. — Zach Walters with a home run to cut the lead to 7-2. Walters has got quite an odd hitting line this season. He’s now 3-for-14 with three homers.

10:17 p.m. — Last chance for the Nats. They trail 7-2 heading to the ninth.

10:27 p.m. — It’s over. Nats lose 7-2. They miss an opportunity to take over first place in the NL East after the Braves lose their fifth straight.

220 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Cardinals 3 outs from losing to the Cubs, losing the series and falling under .500.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Did you get nervous writing that? Seconds later the Cards had 1st and 2nd and no outs.

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Yep, but game over now. Cards fall under .500. Cards lose 2 games against the Cubs started by Waino and Wacha.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Trust me, I’m liking it. I posted that after the doubleplay but I was nervous when there was 1st and 2nd and no outs.

  2. letswin3 - May 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Please list me with those in the column that feel that if you let em disrespect you, they will keep on disrespecting you. If you need more plain language …… I am calling for RETRIBUTION, quickly and with resolve.

  3. Candide - May 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    But I wouldn’t go to the kitchen when Ruiz comes up to bat for the first time, either. Just in case.

    Or during the Philthies first batter. They have a history of trying to intimidate the Nats – Hamels hitting Harper to “welcome him” to the big leagues, and I wonder if last night’s escapades were an attempt to find out what MW is made of.

    Assuminbg the umps haven’t already issued a warning to both teams, a first-inning, first pitch fastball to Gwynn’s ribs should settle the question permanently.

  4. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    I don’t like the idea of putting men on base for free unless the game is out of hand, one way or the other. Win the games. That sends a message.

    • Eric - May 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      I do tend to agree with you, and we already sent that message last night.

      But, I wouldn’t mind if Ruiz hears some chin music tonight, nor if we add more than a pinch of hard slides to the pot tonight. Werth seems to have a knack for that.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      In this case a throw behind sends a message also without giving away a free base.

    • zmunchkin - May 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      I agree that putting men on base is not a good idea.

      And throwing behind someone can still get you tossed (e.g., Stras last year).

      But a few hard slides, perhaps with overdoing it just a bit on the batter calling time repeatedly (to p..s the pitcher off). Won’t work for long as the Blue will stop granting it. But it sends the message.

  5. Eugene in Oregon - May 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Best retribution is to score runs yourselves, deny runs to them. GYFNG!

  6. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    The Reds DFA’d Bernadina.

  7. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Reds DFA the Shark

  8. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki 5m
    Cole Hamels has been scratched from his start tomorrow vs WSH due to the flu. Hernandez starts instead.

    • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Wow that’s a big break for us

      • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        Huge.

    • natsfan1a - May 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Or maybe it’s not the flu and they’re just saving him to face, er, never mind… :-)

  9. masterfishkeeper - May 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Interesting that Tony Gwynn Jr. is starting in CF and leading off. Career OBP is .318, but he’s fast and he plays centerfield, so he leads off? He’s like a lesser version of Revere.

  10. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Shark on the loose.

  11. Doc - May 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Hope Mikey Mo keeps doing ‘standings-damage’ to the Braves. #7 and counting.

    Stay healthy Beast! We all want you to do well!

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Except when we travel to SF early next month, of course.

  12. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Would love to see Roark back that COSO with another quality outing.

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      *CGSO

  13. topnat - May 3, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Can’t have Roark getting tossed early. There is a time and a place for payback. Desmond with hard slide of his own sends the message.

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      He’s gotta get on base first. LOL

    • Candide - May 3, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Would they toss him for hitting Gwynn if there’s been no warning issued?

      • ArVAFan - May 3, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Candide: I like how you think. Why waste Roark on one pitch? Since Mattheus just got tossed last week after one pitch, he should be used to it.

    • letswin3 - May 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Candide’s probably right in thinking that a solid plunking in the first inning would likely be followed by a warning to all parties. But, just to be safe, how bout we start Roark, let him get his warmups, then move him to left field to switch spots with Zack Walters …. Walters then plunks the first hitter, gets tossed, is replaced by McLouth, and McLouth and Roark then switch back. Roark is saved, Walters takes one for the team, the bullies get what they have coming to them and I’m a happy Nats fan.

      • Candide - May 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Or simply don’t have Tanner start.

        Stick Mattheus in there. He plunks Gwynn and either gets tosssed or MW comes out and replaces him with Tanner.

        And smiles at the Philthies’ dugout on his way back to our dugout.

      • Candide - May 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        I am so going to hell when I die…

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona “@masnKolko: Cole Hamels has been scratched from his start tomorrow due to the flu. Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) will now start vs. #Nats”

  15. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Sounds like Fister will start Friday the 9th instead of Wednesday the 7th. They want to keep Strasburg on normal rest.

    • NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Wednesday is Kershaw, Tuesday is Greinke. Who are we sending against Greinke, any word?

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Detwiler or Treinan, it seems.

  16. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Our time in Houston was well-spent. Their announcers know how to pronounced Roark.

    • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      Why were they talking about him?

      • NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Just listing starters for tonight’s games.

  17. letswin3 - May 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    If we get a full-fledged donnybrook tonight, will Soriano have to first write the name of his opponent in the dirt with his finger? And, what are the odds of him missing high with 4 consecutive swings?

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Let the phils make the first bad move. If they do, then go after em. If not, crush the leather off the ball in either case.

      Jeez….sucky ump

  18. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    The Nationals have promoted or traded many of the organization’s best internally-developed talent in recent seasons, but have stockpiled a solid array of talent at their Class-A affiliate, writes James Wagner of the Washington Post. Led by top prospect Lucas Giolito, the Hagerstown rotation includes a series of intriguing 2013-draftees in Jake Johansen, Austin Voth, and Nick Pivetta.

    Who are Voth and Pivetta ? Any early indications

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      The starting rotation is made up of arms such as the 2012 first-round pick Lucas Giolito (2.95 ERA in five starts), the 2013 second-round pick Jake Johansen (5.21 ERA in four starts), ’13 fifth-round pick Austin Voth (3.24 ERA in four starts) and a ’13 fourth-round pick Nick Pivetta (4.57 ERA in five starts). All have fastballs that have been clocked, at least, in the low to mid 90s, led by the high 90s heat from Giolito and Johansen.

  19. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Rendon just missed one.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      so did Jason or at least a two bagger…not warm enuf

  20. knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Tony Gwynn, Jr taking the “scenic route” for Rendon ‘s fly ball. But as I said last night sometimes that is more fun than a direct route to the ball.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      Baseball gods don’t draw in straight lines.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - May 3, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    The pitch track on MLB.tv had the strike zone all over the place.

  22. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Ok, Got em where we want them.
    We are the comeback kids

  23. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Here we go again. Three-run homer in the first inning.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      My question is why this beginning of the movie each time.

      Our batters swung solid and fly to the track. Ryan Howard seemed to barely hit and it cleared easily.

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Can’t keep starting off games 3-0 and working out of deficits.

  25. unkyd59 - May 3, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    I’ve seen this movie before…. It has a great ending…!

  26. knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Three earned…..all on Roark.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      True, can’t blame this one on the defense. He’s up in the zone in the 1st inning. That’s not good.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        No, it’s all my fault this time….’m usually not home in time for the 1st inning

  27. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Again we should stop having first innings our pitchers too often com into the game not ready pitch either physically or mentally one way or the other.

    Our hitters have done the job late and will have to again.

    Any clues why we have so much problems in the first?

  28. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    This is why you don’t hit someone to start the game

  29. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    You don’t pull on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind etc. and you don’t throw Ryan Howard flat fastballs. Stupid pitch selection.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      I don’t blame the pitch selection. Tried to go outside with some sink for a doubleplay ball. Clearly didn’t get it.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        Steve, I thought he got lucky on the first FB to Howard. Throw him curves. Ask Livan. Howard has always crushed low 90’s fastballs. That looked like a batting practice pitch.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        It was just a lousy pitch and bet the horizontal movement was flat. Easy for Howard. I’ve seen that many times before.

  30. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Well let’s start chipping away right now.

  31. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Hit it to left ALR

  32. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    I guess some knows but how many 3 run homers have we given up in the first?

  33. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Evening ladies and gents. Is today groundhog day?

  34. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Jeez…ian listening to FP again

  35. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Burnett is giving us a gift, now accept it.

  36. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Espi why not hit it like Howard

  37. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Here we go, Espinosa with RISP. Get ‘er done Espi. Please.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Ugly at bat from Danny, though AJ often makes hitters look ugly. Like McLouth just now.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        McLouth should have known what was coming. Wasn’t he watching Danny’s AB?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Now 2-28 with 8 K’s with RISP.

  38. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Espi swing and miss rate starting to go up. Terrible effort .

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Some good pitches

  39. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Deadly stike threes

    • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      FP said it was coming so everyone knows it. Be ready for it.

  40. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Did mcclout bother to see that pitch against Espi. FP predicted it would happen

  41. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    5 batters…no balls put in play

  42. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Burnett made perfect pitches. What are you going to do?

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      A little different than last night

  43. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Loboton ready for the pitch comes back, instead it curves low inside.

  44. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Could be a long night vs Burnett…..just need to work the count and get to that BP.

  45. Section 222 - May 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Roark better plunk someone and fast or all is lost. Phillies obviously don’t respect us. Or at least throw behind someone. That’ll do the trick I’m sure.

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Another bad pitch. Tanner forces one in.

  47. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Roark on extra rest = bad.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      If you are convinced that’s what it is. Just when it looked like he was ready to step up and in after that shutout complete game gem.

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        Give him a break. He’s a #5 starter, not an ace. He’s not going to maintain a 2 and a half ERA. He’ll have some rough outings.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        OK, I will back off since you seem offended by that. Sheesh, there were people here ready to drive Taylor Jordan back to Syracuse.

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Jordan was consistently bad. Roark has been good most of the time. Some great starts (last two), some bad starts (today and vs Braves-both on long rest) and some average starts (against the Marlins and Mets). That’s plenty good enough for a 5th starter.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        Where did I say differently just questioning your wisdom that this can be blamed on extra rest.

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        Well his last bad start was on extra rest and this is on extra rest. It may not be the case, but he’s been at least decent every other time out in his entire big league career.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        It’s getting the downward movement on his pitches. He went for a doubleplay pitch and it was flat and too much plate. Howard didn’t miss it.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        It probably won’t matter with AJ and home plate ump Gonzo. Both unpredictable will keep Nats off balance.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        Yes, that can change the approach at the plate.

  48. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Nice play again Ant’ny
    When Zimm comes back, can he play second
    When does Zimm come back ?

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Sports Illustrated suggested that in their pre-season issue.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        So I’m not as crazy as my ex-wife says

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 3, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        I’ll defer to your ex on that one.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        Well she thinks I belong in Portlandia

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    “Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
    As good as he’s been overall, Espinosa is now 2-for-28 with RISP this season. Most of his damage has come in low-leverage spots.”

    That looks familiar. Low-leverage, hmmmm.

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Plagiarism!

    • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      He did put a dash – between Low & Leverage. ;)

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Cmon Mark…name your Ghost writers

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        LMAO, I put up the Team RISP chart this morning. Poor numbers from Espi and Lobo.

      • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        “Ghost of Steve M. – May 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM
        Espi’s now .074 with RISP. He’s excellent when the Nats are ahead or nobody on base and horrible with runners on. That’s what Schu and Danny need to work on.”

        You didnt say Low Lev there. Hah!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        I said Low Lev 10 times in the last week on his RISP.

  50. Section 222 - May 3, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Roark better plunk someone soon or all is lost. The Phillies obviously don’t respect us. Or at least throw behind someone. That will turn things around.

  51. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Did Span kick Manny Gonzalez’ dog, or something? His strike zone has been, shall we say, bizarre.

  52. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    As I said, throw Ryan Howard curves. The slower the better.

  53. nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Chip away here Nats!

  54. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    That was outside to Werth. Burnett doesn’t need help.

  55. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Note to Tanner: Don’t throw ball over the plate….Strikes can be had anywhere

  56. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Whats that kid got on that Werth jersey he keeps flashing? Duct tape after his name…coulda tried harder than that. Prolly “less”. Lame.

  57. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    This is where Danny shuts me up! Another RISP situation!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Ugh. Now 2-29 with 9 K’s with RISP. The math aint pretty. I will round up .070

  58. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Wow, Danny, just wow.

  59. Joe Seamhead - May 3, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Really, Espinosa? Really McLouth? Awful.

  60. dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    I defer my comments to the fan from manassas ;(

    • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      RISP is heading back toward .200 as a team.

  61. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    I can’t really blame anyone for having trouble tonight. Burnett has been perfect. It’s like the game Ian Kennedy pitched, but even better. Just perfect location on everything and he’s out-thinking everyone. Danny sold-out for the swingback fastball (and you can’t blame him) but got the curve.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      But as long as AJ can live off the plate, he will. He does have excellent location tonight.

    • Eric - May 3, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      That K was NASTY.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Seems LaRoche and Desmond have had no problem with him. So I am not totally buying it.

  62. knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Re: Espinosa BA with RISP, for all that talk about what to do when RZ comes off the DL, the best reason to sit Danny is his 2 for 28 with RISP.

    Just can’t keep him in the lineup with that lack of production.

    • knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      Make it 2 for 29.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        Its hard to believe anyone can be that awful given the luck of BABIP but K’s are automatic outs and he has to get bat on ball like he does in the Low Lev situations to get something to find grass.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Yeah…We have Zimm/Ramos/Harper replaced with Espi/Lobo/McLouth.
      You lose some down in the lineup for sure.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        I have definitely been pulled into the Espi vortex again and want to believe he can put his full game together. Just that he is batting 209 points higher with no RISP situation. That’s hard to have a gap that large.

    • Section 222 - May 3, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      When Zim comes back, Espi sits. Not much question about that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        As they say, he is making the decision easy although his basic statline is still very good until you look at RBIs, RISP, and advanced stats.

        Like I said above, its hard to believe.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        By the way, Lobaton has been just as bad in RISP situations as Espi.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        When Ramos comes back, Lobaton sits. Not much question about that either. :-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        That is true. I still think Lobaton is the Nats best LH bat off the bench. All but 1 of his career HRs have come left-handed.

        MW has a real problem with lefty bats off the bench.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Only way to be able to use him is to carry a third catcher. Would you want them to do that?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        Leon is a switchie and could certainly stay until RZim comes back and replace Leon so yes I would opt for that.

        Walters is 0-9 with 3 Ks in the 3 pitch variety swinging lefty. Of course he’s been lethal as a righty. The bench is loaded with RH bats.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        I tend to agree with you. Neither Walters nor Souza is ready to consistently contribute off the bench. Even more important, having a third catcher lets MW use Ramos off the bench on days when he rests. So that’s Frandson, Hairston, McLouth, Leon, and Loboton on the bench until Zim returns. Frankly, I’d consider dumping Hairston when Zim comes back if in the meantime Ramos shows that his power has not been zapped by the hamate removal.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Think give Frandsen a chance to get even with his old team in the mean time

  63. knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Now 5-0 and the wife asks if we can change the channel to HGTV.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Flip or Flop is a great show!

      • knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:43 PM

        Love it or list it is her favorite. Always cheers for Hillary over David..

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        David reminds me of Stan Kasten so yes, I root for the Brit.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Most definitely….just come back in the 8th

  64. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Giants still up 2-1 bottom 5

  65. knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Ugh!

  66. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    6 runs may b3ea bit too much to overcome

  67. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    MW tells us he needs to get Detwiler more work, bringing a lefty for 2 innings seems perfect here.

    • NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      Isn’t Det going to start on Tuesday? Or at the very least be the long reliever for Treinan/Stammen?

      • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        They bullpens on the Saturday before a Tuesday start so it matches.

  68. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    I am watching Braves/Giants in split-screen. Freddie Freeman comes up with men on 2nd and 1st and Pence was playing him rather shallow. Sure enough Freddie tries to lay one into short RF and Pence ran in and caught it. I hope Weidimaier watches that tape.

  69. scnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    I am tired of reading we got the hot pitcher. Some night we simply make pitchers look good.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      Sorry, Burnett is bringing it and the ump is helping him.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      And BTW, I hadn’t said to now that Burnett is a hot pitcher.

  70. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Williams gonna get some innings out of Mattheus before he sends him back when Fister arrives.

    • knoxvillenat - May 3, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Not a bad idea.

      • NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        Give up a walk and a single (so far), I say leave him in until his arm falls off. This one’s a blowout.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        No doubt but I think Treinen might replace Mattheus then Fister for Treinen.

      • NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Ghost, right. Tuesday will be a “bullpen game,” and Mattheus won’t be part of it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        I don’t know about you all, but Mattheus just isn’t tops on my list. I will always love him for the greatest relief performance in Nats history (Game 1) but he’s jumped the shark with me.

  71. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    BIG K…….double play

    • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      For some reason, they decide to throw the slider. Baffling pitch selection. Even worse execution by Mattheus. Big ol’ hanger.

  72. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    By a diving Rendon. Eesh.

  73. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Only good thing out of this game is my fantasy stats

  74. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Here’s where you plunk COOCH!

    • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Ghost, I think it’s Chooch and certainly he’s a big Cooch. If you don’t know what that is, I direct you to the Urban Dictionary.

  75. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Tonight it’s not chip, chip, chip, it’s chunk, chunk, chunk away.

  76. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Shouldn’t we take ALR out to rest his quad?

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Woo! No shutout.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Yes, after he hits a HR.

  77. Eugene in Oregon - May 3, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    As planned, off to see the Budapest Hotel movie. Won’t feel bad about leaving this game while it’s still in-progress.

    • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      Good movie…Enjoy
      Not as believable as Zack Walters line this year

  78. nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Hows about giving LaRoche the rest of the night off? Make sense?

  79. manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    As I said my fantasy players are doing fine tonight LaRoche, jimmy Rollins, and Jose Lobaton who gathers putouts and was on base. 4 hits a double a homer, 3 runs a steal.

  80. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Morse just crushed one.

  81. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Look at this rain. It’s a game, why not just call it?

  82. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 3, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Yikes…. They can call this game…. Oh man, not our night…

    Let’s get them tomorrow!

    • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      7 run comeback?

      • manassasnatsfan - May 3, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        I recall a pouring rain in the 6th in DC a few years ago and the ream came from way back.

      • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        Ream?

  83. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I say call it. No need to burn up any more BP arms. We got beat, plain and simple.

    • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Hmmmmm…at least Burnett is done. We cooould pull off a comeback.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      Did you forget July 20, 2012. Nats lost a 9-0 lead.

      • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        Braves started coming back sooner than this

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        That is true but its still possible.

      • veejh - May 3, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        So, we might end up losing 18-1?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        Impossible. Nats have 2 runs.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        I got thrown out of that game

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        Uh oh, what’s the back-story there?

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        I was asking a braves fan to stop the chop and used a 4 letter word that didn’t rhyme with RISP….I had too little to drink, I guess. The first time was a Mets game in the 70’s with future convict Joe Kelly and Chuck Shotcowski who hit 6 cars on one street in Queens after a little too much to drink (3 on each side)

  84. goorru - May 3, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Who loses their spot when Fister returns?

  85. nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Zach Walters 2-13 and both hits are HRs. That seems like a season ago.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      3-14 and 3 hits are all HRs. 2 of them pinch-hit HRs.

  86. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    All this dude does is hit HRs?

  87. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Talk about lack of hustle, Justin Upton just rolled over a grounder to the shortstop in a doubleplay situation and jogged it to 1st. Out by a mile.

    • nats128 - May 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      Bet you it gets no mention other than you because hes not Bryce Harper.

  88. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Braves lose. Have to like that.

    • David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      I owe you one. That’s 5 in a row for them.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        You shut down Freeman and you have a good chance. You have to see how Pence played him with RISP. I suggested that a few weeks ago that you almost have to move in a good ten feet. Now I expect Freeman could swing longer and go for the fences but I like the defense the Giants put on. Bochy is one good manager.

      • dcwx61 - May 3, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        Easier to shut down the Federal Government

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Game ends on a Brandon Crawford Web Gem.

  89. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Braves lose.

  90. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Turn on the Miami game…….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Miami on the comeback with a 3 run Ozuna HR down 7-6 and Stanton up with bases loaded and K’s on a nasty breaker out of the zone.

  91. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    The Mets just blew a 6 run lead.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      They sure did. The entire West except the D’Backs are surging.

  92. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    The Mets just blew a 6 run lead in Colorado.

  93. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Well, the Rox just had an 8 run inning against the Mets. Of course, Coors.

  94. NatsLady - May 3, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    TIED for FIRST in the DIVISION!!!! :)

  95. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Real nice play by Danny. He gets to almost everything and makes it look routine so when he lays out for one and gets it, it’s special.

  96. Ghost of Steve M. - May 3, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Bunt here Danny.

  97. veejh - May 3, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    McOut has been worthless

  98. David Proctor - May 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    The Dodgers are imploding against the Fish. Bases loaded for the Marlins bottom 9. 1 out. Down by 1.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 50 1.5
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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.

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