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Help is on the way

May 5, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

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Despite injuries to three key members of their lineup, their biggest offseason acquisition and a trusted veteran off the bench, the Nationals have managed to keep their heads above water through the season’s first five weeks.

So even though the mood inside the visitors’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park yesterday was down following a frustrating, 1-0 loss to the Phillies, players left and right perked up when talking about the overall state of this team, which heads home with a 17-14 record, 1/2-game back in the NL East.

“I feel like we’re in a great position,” utilityman Kevin Frandsen said. “Just because of the fact every single one of the guys in here battles and fights. Nothing’s ever over, and it’s pretty awesome to watch and be a part of. No matter what it is — 7-2, 1-0, whatever inning it is, whoever’s pitching — we still feel like we have a chance. I feel like that’s the character of this team.

“For us to be where we are right now with all those injuries, I say it’s even better. Cause when those guys start coming back, it’s almost like a trade deadline for all of us. We’re going to get more and more shots in the arm. We can’t be looking forward to that, but we can control what we’re doing right now and keep us in a position to stay in it. And when those guys come in, hopefully we take off.”

Well, several of those guys are on the verge of rejoining this club. Over the next five days, the Nationals expect to activate Wilson Ramos, Doug Fister and Scott Hairston off the disabled list.

Hairston, out since the season’s first week with an oblique strain, has played three rehab games for Class AAA Syracuse and could be back in Washington as soon as tonight for the Nationals’ series opener against the Dodgers. Though the 33-year-old outfielder has made only minor impact since his acquisition last summer, he’s a veteran role player with a career .816 OPS vs. left-handed pitching.

“That’s Scotty’s job,” manager Matt Williams said. “He’s really good off the bench, pounds lefties. We’ll be happy to have him back, certainly, with that experience and that success under his belt.”

Ramos’ impending return truly will be a significant boost for a Nationals club that has been forced to make do with Jose Lobaton and Sandy Leon behind the plate since Ramos broke the hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day. In three rehab games at extended spring training and Class A Hagerstown, he is 6-for-10 with three homers.

Ramos, who still needs to catch nine full innings, is slated to play tonight for Class AA Harrisburg. Depending on how that goes, he could find himself in Washington before this series against the Dodgers is over. At worst, he should come off the DL in time for Friday’s series opener in Oakland.

That’s also when Fister will make his Nationals debut, Friday night against the Athletics, after missing the season’s first five weeks with a lat strain. The veteran right-hander wrapped up his rehab over the weekend with 76 pitches for Harrisburg and now is eager to pitch at last for his new club.

“These guys have been here,” he said. “I’m excited to help any way that I can now and get out there and get on the mound for the first time for these guys and really feel a part of the team. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m pretty amped about it.”

There still remain two more key pieces that need to return from injury — Ryan Zimmerman should be back in the next 2-3 weeks, Bryce Harper in late-June or early-July — but the Nationals are encouraged to be getting some much-needed reinforcements for a club that has managed to keep itself in contention without them.

“This feels a lot like two years ago,” Adam LaRoche said. “We were kind of hanging in there for a while, and then took off. I think we’re in a great position. Get some guys back doing their thing, and we’ll be fine.”

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I hope Fister and Ramos get a chance to chat together… If indeed that’s the battery on Friday. Really looking forward to seeing our new boy-toy pitch!

    Here are some stats to chew on.

    • ArVAFan - May 5, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Well, at least they worked together in Spring Training, so they aren’t total strangers . . . even if they’ve spent the first month of the season on the DL together.

  2. unterp - May 5, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    it’s funny, I was at the dodgers game for Harper’s debut, coincidentally, and I will be at Fister’s debut too, coincidentally…Looking forward…

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      You’ll be in Oakland, too? That makes at least three of us.

      • snerdblurter - May 5, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Make that 4. West coast Nats fans represent!

        Unterp – I was down in LA for Harper’s debut too, and I’ll never forgive Matt Kemp for spoiling Bryce’s would-be game-winning sac fly. I believe that was Tyler Moore’s MLB debut too, wasnt it? Still have a whole bunch of stubs in my desk from it.

      • unterp - May 5, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        yeah, that was tough. got swept on a walk-off…

  3. flnatsfan - May 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Getting Ramos back will be a big boost. I really hope the Buffalo can stay healthy for the rest of the year. Also, has anyone heard anything about Puig after his wall collision yesterday? Apparently he tested negative for a concussion, but was day to day. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if he missed a few games of this series.

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    I think Ramos is staying tonight in Hagerstown.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      They are saying he looks to be ahead of schedule and want him to go a full 9 behind the plate then possibly rest a day. Does that put him at Wednesday in DC or catch Wednesday for one of the Minor League teams as Thursday is an off-day.

      Looks like he will definitely head West with the team on Friday.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Wondering whether they’ll ease Wilson Ramos back in as a DH in Oakland for at least one or two of the games?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        I would say count on that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        I see Mark Z has Ramos slated for Harrisburg tonight. I’m being told they had Ramos stay in Hagerstown overnight. Wednesday is a 10:30AM start for Harrisburg and would get Willy back to DC in plenty of time to watch the back-end of the Nats game if they don’t activate him.

      • 6ID20 - May 5, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Doubtful that Ramos would DH unless they’re carrying a third catcher. If Ramos had to shift over to catch when he’s in the game already as DH, they would lose the DH and the pitcher would have to bat.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        You are correct and that’s not so bad of a problem as AL teams do that often. Yankees had just that situation this year but it was late in the game and the pitcher didn’t have to bat. McCann has already started twice as a DH.

  5. NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Look at the bottom of this report, sounds like RZ could be delayed, hasn’t passed X-ray on his hand.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      RZim went out on April 13th. It’s only been 22 days where best case would be going out this week on a rehab assignment if the break is healed 100%. He is still well within that 4-6 week timetable and Ryan’s history shows he doesn’t like prolonged MiLB stints.

  6. adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Wondering whether they’ll ease Wilson Ramos back in as a DH in Oakland for at least one or two of the games?

    Makes sense — although also makes sense to have ALR DL for a bit, to get him through his sore quad situation.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      Another great point and Werth also. Wouldn’t be surprised to see one or the other get the day off on Wednesday to go with the Thursday off-day

    • jd - May 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      You meant ALR DH I hope. I don’t think we are in position to lose ALR’s bat at this point.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        I don’t think ALR’s work at 1st base is too taxing on his sore quad.

        Werth is the guy who looks ragged to me.

      • NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Agree. Werth looks tired out there, and I still can’t believe he missed that foul ball.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Yep, he hasn’t looked good for weeks on defense. I think you force him to sit on Wednesday and DH him in Oakland.

        ALR just needs days off. I don’t see DH as a day off for him.

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        I don’t think ALR’s work at 1st base is too taxing on his sore quad.

        MW, in an interview, said that his fear is that — as with any fielder — a smash might come his way, and he’ll react to it instinctively and hurt his quad. He seemed to be more fearful of that than his regular baserunning, as far as exacerbating the quad.

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        Right. MW wanted to DH ALR more than Ramos, because of ALR’s quad, and trying to figure out a way to minimize the burden on the quad while still getting as many AB’s from him as possible

  7. scnatsfan - May 5, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Late in the game, Nats down by a run, man on second, two outs… who do you want to see coming to the plate as a pinch hitter (ignoring all the L-R matchups) – Hairston, Moore, Espinosa, McLouth or Walters?

    • NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 10:22 AM


      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        +1, now that’s funny NatsLady. NONE OF THE ABOVE.

        Shows the state of the bench given those choices although Walters is a RH ambusher. He just looks like he’s swinging at air Lefty. I would have gone Lobo to face Papelbon instead if Walters. Better track record.

      • therealjohnc - May 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        Although in hindsight Walters hit a couple of shots that would have done serious damage but for the strong crosswing that blew them both foul.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Exactly right NL, and it raises the question of whether we want to go with three catchers at least until Zim comes back. On days that Ramos doesn’t start, his bat is awfully valuable to sit dormant. I think I’d rely on Frandson to be the sole utility infielder, with Hairston and McLouth as the OFs, and Leon and Lobo as the bench catchers/PHs. That means Walters, Ty-Mo and Souza head back to AAA.

  8. nats2005 - May 5, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Hopefully, WR will be able to catch a couple of games in Oakland and give ALR and JDubbs a DH spot.

    Hard to believe this team will all of it’s injuries and having their opening day lineup for all of 6 innings this year to be a 1/2 game out of first place (and only 1 game out of last too).

    Good article from MLB.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Federal Baseball with a nice piece on another untimely running out on the Frandsen play with ALR on-deck.

    Situations dictate aggression such as # of outs, who’s on-deck, who’s pitching, score of game, etc. Frandsen as we all know has ramped up his aggression and was fortunate on a running play in Houston. This play yesterday was just not the right situation as Mayberry was charging with a short throw.

    You still putpressure on the Phoolies with 2nd and 1st and 1 out with LaRoche stepping in to bat.

    By the after walking LaRoche rather intentionally to out 1st and 2nd with 2 outs Hernandez throws 2 out of the zone to Rendon and then throws a clear Ball 3 but the ump called it a strike and changed the entire at-bat sequence as Rendon fouled the next pitch and had to protect on 2-2. That at-bat seemingly ruined Rendon’s day. Instead of working 3-0 he went 2-1 to 2-2 in an instant but Frandsen’s decision to run wasn’t a sound one IMHO and changed that entire 1st inning.

  10. micksback1 - May 5, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Agree with everyone on Werth’s fatigue. This is why I thought MW was going to try to keep the OF fresh by having Frandsen and McClouth. I guess Bryce’s injury affects the ability to rest Werth as well. If McClouth was not so terrible, Werth could have probably sat a few games. I assume the plan will be to rotate the starters in the OF with Frandsen and others as the season continues?

  11. micksback1 - May 5, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Those who defend McClouth because they think he needs repetition, my questions is, then why not sit Werth to rest and let McClouth prove whether or not it is all about reps?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      I will say it again they need a reason to send McLouth on the DL to get him restarted on a rehab assignment but with Harp out they can’t do it. Dude is lost at the plate. You just hope he finds himself soon. He’s a big negative WAR now.

      • micksback1 - May 5, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I hear you Ghost and agree. Howver, I am a bit frustrated with McClouth, he is a veteran player, he received great money from us, I have a problem with his prepartion and that is ALL on him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        You are right. A huge disappointment and even before Rizzo signed him I highlighted McLouth as a perfect fit for the team. I’m still wiping egg off my face.

    • dcwx61 - May 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      I’ve seen time and again switching leagues is tough but not sure why McL tries to pull everything. His track record dictates more plate maturity.

      On another note, remember when ALR was a slow starter. The beard is powerful. Unleash the Beard, Nate.

    • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Because Werth is one of the best hitters on the team, and is one of the few (along with ALR) who hits great with RISP — something that Nats totally need?

  12. Theophilus T.S. - May 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Out of vanity I repeat my post on the previous thread: Hairston at Syracuse, one-for-twelve. We’re supposed to be excited about his return? Pretending he’s going to hit .816 OPS against anybody, even in the Mexican League, is magical thinking.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Truth, but the bench is real bad now. With Frandsen as the RH leftfielder Hairston can be DFA’d when either Bryce comes back or Rizzo finds a better alternative. Look at the pool of Mendoza candidates to choose from. Slim pickings.

    • therealjohnc - May 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Pretending that 12 at bats in Syracuse, sight unseen, really tell us all that much one way or the other is just this side of magical thinking. We have no idea who the pitchers were, whether they were LHP or RHP, how Hairston looked and swung in the box, what kind of contact he was making, whether he was getting around on fastballs, etc. All we have is the stat line without context or supplemental information.

      I’m not saying that Hairston is going to light it up on returning; the same principles of caution apply to over-interpreting Ramos’s two home runs in Viera (against sub-A ball pitching) or his results in low A Hagerstown when trying to figure out whether his swing and power have been affected by the surgery.

  13. jd - May 5, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    With Harper, Ramos and Zim out it’s tough to also rest Werth. You are already playing several subs as regulars so you don’t want half the lineup to be below par.

    We did have 2 days off last week and Werth DH’d in Houston so he shouldn’t be too tired.

    • dcwx61 - May 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Good counterpoint

  14. ArVAFan - May 5, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I’d just like to see WR have a “return from DL” day like he did last year (five RBI if I recall correctly). And then I’d like to see him have some of those days without having to go on the DL!

  15. scnatsfan - May 5, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    When does McLouth get off the DL? You mean he isn’t injured? He has to start deviating back towards his mean of chaos will begin to rule the universe.

  16. adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Wonk’s Monday Midbits

    – The op five teams in all of baseball for Baseball Reference’s “SRS”: 1. Miami, 2-tie. Atlanta & Oakland; 4. Nationals & Rockies; meanwhile every team in AL East has a negative run differential

    – Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers this season: 2 HR at Yankee Stadium (one, yesterday, was inside the park), 2 HR’s in all the other parks he’s played in combined. (He’s batting .375 with four homers and 14 RBIs in seven games against New York this season — compared to .202 with no homers and four RBIs against everyone else)

    – Miserable to be a D-back fan: Arizona is 8-8 on the road, 3-15 at home.

    – The Rockies have scored 7.4 runs/game at home and 4 runs/game on the road

    – Atlanta is 13th in BA. In Alex Woods’ last four starts, the Braves have scored a total of one run.

    – The Giants were 0-for-7 with RISP during their three games with Atlanta, and still swept the Braves.

    – Tanner Roark is tied for 3rd in NL for sac hits.

    – Pitchers for the Mets are batting 0-for-51 starting the season. It’s the longest hitless streak to begin a season in the Modern Era.

    – Atlanta has lost six straight. I know everybody here knows that, but I just like writing it. (Getting outscored 32-10).

    – Trivia Question: There is only one NL player with 30+ HR’s in each of the last three seasons (!). Who is he? (Try it without looking at internet)

    • jd - May 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM


      I looked it up. I wouldn’t have guessed it in 100 tries. I won’t give it away either.

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        I wouldn’t have guessed in 100 years either!

    • 6ID20 - May 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Unless you’re including minor leagues or Japan, there is no such player. Goldschmidt, Alvarez and Bruce are the only 30+ guys in the NL last year, and none of them have 3 straight years. None of the AL 30+ guys from 2013 are now in the NL.

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Hmm . . . does that count as a winning response?

        Jay Bruce it is. He’s hit 32, 34, and 30 HR’s the last three years.

      • 6ID20 - May 5, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        You’re right. When I looked at Bruce’s bbref page I mistakenly checked out his doubles column.

    • Faraz Shaikh - May 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      my guess was alvarez.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      I answered below at 1:02

      By the way on Bruce its doubtful he will do it this year as he tore his meniscus and will miss all of May and probably some of June.

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Well done!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        I hedged. I knew Alvarez won the HR crown and knew Bruce had at least 2 monster years. Votto had that injury a couple years ago and Braun had the suspension so….

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        Good for you! As for me, Jay Bruce, perhaps because of his pedestrian name, was completely under my radar screen. I never would have gotten it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        The Great American Smallpark!

      • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        +1 !!

  17. jd - May 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM



    • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Braun had three straight 30+ HR years in his first three years, but not in the last three years, as in 2013 he was suspended for half the season.

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 5, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    I know the answer to Won’/s trivia question, but won’t give it away. It’s a great question with a surprising answer.

  19. Joe Seamhead - May 5, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Wonk’s question

  20. NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Injury Daze and Weekly Preview with Rankings here.

    Looks like some really great baseball coming up. We’re playing with the big boys now and we are not out of our league!

    They are highlighting Kevin Frandsen on MLB Network now.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Trivia answer (probably wrong, but without looking): Dan Uggla?

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM


      • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Correct answer = Not even on my radar screen.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Jay Bryce or Pedro Alvarez as Goldscmidt hasn’t done it 3 yrs yet.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Votto was injured in 2012.

  22. David Proctor - May 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I don’t think Werth is tired, I think he’s getting old. His defense has eroded. A day off is not going to help–he just DH’d two days. It is what it is. As long as he hits, you live with it.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      I’m guessing you’re probably right, but that’s all the more reason to (a) give him some days off every now and then; (b) pull him late in games when the outcome is pretty much a given; and (c) use him as DH whenever possible;.

    • Sonny G 10 - May 5, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      He is getting older, but I don’t think that’s his problem. I think he is playing through groin soreness.

  23. letswin3 - May 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    I haven’t taken the time to do an exhaustive review of Jerry Blevin’s numbers, but it seems that every time I see him leaving a game he has again performed at a very high level. He looks to be efficient, and he avoids the hated leadoff walk …… nothing he throws stands out to me, but he does his job, gets em out and sits down. And management is calling for him more often too. Nice acquisition, so far.

    • David Proctor - May 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Speaking of which, Matt Williams is very lucky that his decision to pitch to Utley worked out. I was stunned that he chose to walk Rollins to get to Utley.

      • micksback1 - May 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        MW is dodging a lot of bullets, eventually it will catch up. I just am not sold on MW.

      • jd - May 5, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        That was a very strange decision. Utley is so much better than Rollins against any kind of pitcher. In fact when they walked Rollins I thought they would also walk Utley and bring in Storen to face Byrd.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        While we are talking about odd managerial decisions, how about burning two possible pinch hitters to pinch run for ALR. Souza was the pinch runner and TyMo came in to play first. I thought he should have used Espi to pinch run and left him in to play 2B, moved Rendon to 3B and Frandson to 1B. Frandson hasn’t played 1B at all for us, right? That was his main defensive position for Philly last year I think.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 5, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        I had forgotten about using Frandsen at first. You raise a good point there. I assume he decided that losing Souza wasn’t a big deal.

  24. Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Best news this week was the fall back to earth of the Braves. Despite early reports, their pitching staff is mortal, and any team that bats B.J. Upton and his .627 OPS (not to mention his 34 Ks in 122 PAs) second in the order is not going to run away with anything. This is going to be a dogfight and we can win it.

    • jd - May 5, 2014 at 2:02 PM


      You are right about Atlanta’s pitching. I never thought they were very good overall but their results until a week ago were stunning. I said a couple of weeks ago I thought their pitching coach is some sort of magician with what he was doing with Harang, Santana and Hale.

      I disagree with your criticism of the Braves lineup though. You are right B.J Upton is a problem for them, Although he has raised his average by about 60 points in the last little while and also Uggla is a flawed offensive player but I think overall their lineup is pretty good and pretty deep.

      I do think that we should actually win going away barring further injuries simply based on a much better starting rotation. I was actually extremely worried when Harper went down and we were 4 games back. I feared we would fall to 8 – 10 games back and spend the summer chasing the Braves in Vain. Fortunately we have held our own and they have hit a slump so instead of a big gap we have just about pulled even.

      This next week is again very scary as we are facing some tough pitching with a limited lineup. If we should still remain within striking distance I will slowly start to regain my optimism.

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        I certainly didn’t mean to imply that the Braves lineup is weak overall. It’s not. But keeping BJ at the top of the order is a problem. Kind of like insisting on batting ALR 4th until August last year.

        Not sure what you meant by raising his average by 60 points in the last little while. I actually wondered whether now that he’s wearing those hipster glasses his average was going up, but it’s not. Yes, he was batting .152 on April 10 (after just 8 games), and now he’s batting .213. So there’s your 60 points I guess. But that was almost a month ago, and he was actually up to .227 on April 19, but then went back down to .205 on April 23. So yes, he’s raised his average by 8 points in the last 8 games. But he’s also struck out 10 times. That’s about 1 every 4 PAs, which is just what he’s been doing all year long.

        Long story short — the guy’s a crappy hitter and there’s no way he should be batting second. But I guess the alternatives (CJohnson, Uggla, Simmons) might be even worse. So maybe their lineup is weak after all. They’ve got JHey, Freeman, Gattis, and JUpton and a bunch of guys who don’t really scare anyone.

    • dcwx61 - May 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Some are pointing out that the Braves lineup will be streaky with a lot of long fence swingers and without Freeman their offense will sputter

      • Section 222 - May 5, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        That’s a fair description. Unfortunately, Freeman plays every day.

      • dcwx61 - May 5, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        yes, but i thought he was having some health issues ???

  25. Faraz Shaikh - May 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    man, we had a great opportunity to take over braves yesterday. let’s do it today guys.

    • jd - May 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM


      You are right but who cares if we are .5 games up or .5 games behind on May 5th? We are adding Ramos and Fister (and Hairston) this week. That’s a big shot in the arm for us. I think we’ll be fine.

      • natsfan1a - May 5, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        On a related note and fwiw, I was looking at Baseball Reference this a.m. (when I should have been working but that’s another story).

        After 31 games we’re at 17-14, and .5 behind the Braves.

        Last year we were at 16-15, and 2.0 behind the Braves.

        In 2012 we were at 19-12, and .5 behind the Braves.

      • natsfan1a - May 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        D’oh! Make that .5 up on the Braves in 2012.

        In 2012 we were at 19-12, and .5 behind the Braves.

        Anyhoo, point being, it’s not all that far off.

  26. David Proctor - May 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    On MLB Network, the Braves beat reporter is talking about how there’s no leadership in the Braves clubhouse anymore since McCann and Hudson left.

    • NatsLady - May 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      That’s odd, and I’m not sure it’s believable.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      I watched that also. I loved the scrutinizing of Freddie Freeman. They are in a mini panic right now.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      So no one’s protecting the integrity of the game, huh?

      By the way, how does Brain McCann reconcile his well-documented respect for the game while playing in a league that uses the DH — and sometimes DH’ing himself?

    • natsfan1a - May 5, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Yeah, they really need to step up their game on blocking runners at home.

  27. Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Wilson Ramos is in fact in Harrisburg as we speak. Plan is to have him play 9 innings at catcher and take tomorrow off from catching. Harrisburg has a morning game on Wednesday. Could he be activated on Wednesday or wait for Friday.

    • nats128 - May 5, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Do they DH in Harrisburg? I guess he could DH tomorrow.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Yes, they sure do have a DH they can use in Harrisburg

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - May 5, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Hairston back and Souza optioned.

  29. Eugene in Oregon - May 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Well, it appears the trivia question above has jinxed Jay Bruce — he’s going to be out a month or so with knee surgery.

  30. Sonny G 10 - May 5, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    adcwonk, thanks for the encouragement to use stub hub for tickets. I bought a ticket for tonight’s game through stub hub and like you said, it was real easy. Got to download and print my ticket just like on the Nats site.

    • adcwonk - May 5, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      You’re so very welcome. And I trust (hope?) you got a good deal, too?

    • scnatsfan - May 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Love them for tickets. Have used them a dozen times (along with similar sites, like just buy tickets) and never had a problem. If you pay attention you can get some good deals.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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 Click here for past audio clips.

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