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Roark, Simon both return after long rain delay

May 21, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

The Nationals and Reds were cruising through their game on Wednesday when the skies opened up with a torrential downpour in the top of the sixth inning.

Nationals’ starter Tanner Roark threw a few pitches while getting drenched before a challenge call by Reds’ manager Bryan Price stalled the game, and eventually helped lead to a rain delay. An hour and one minute later, the tarp came off the field and the Nationals’ defense trotted out.

While Roark and Reds’ starter Alfredo Simon had each thrown over 70 pitches apiece, both were brought back out to continue their starts. Roark was only used for 12 more pitches and only to get one more out, a quick second showing after such a long wait.

Manager Matt Williams explained the decision after the 2-1 loss.

“It all depends on how they feel,” Williams said. “He stayed loose and was able to go back out there. It’s one thing if he has to go a full inning or an inning-plus, but he’s got two outs in that inning.”

Roark said he continued throwing pitches in the indoor batting cage at Nationals Park. He would throw 10 to 15 pitches, sit down, and then 10 minutes later do it again.

“I felt good. We kept on playing catch downstairs in the batting cage,” Roark said. “I wanted to go back out there.”

Pitching coach Steve McCatty monitored Roark as he continued to pitch and the team felt he was good to go despite the delay. He allowed a single and a walk, but then got the third out on a Simon groundball.

Simon pitched not only the bottom half of the sixth, but the seventh inning as well. He threw a total of 21 pitches after the break and recorded six outs.

Both pitchers put together good starts, each allowing just one earned run. But an unearned run allowed Roark to take the loss as Simon recovered from a slow start to shut down the Nats.

Simon gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced, leadoff hitter Denard Span, but settled in to dominate for the next six-plus frames.

“Any time you lead off the game with a home run, you think it’s going to be a good day for the offense,” Span said. “He did a hell of a job. He shut the door down and made good pitches. He’s a guy that used to be a closer and now is in the starting rotation. He’s tough.”

Span was also impressed with Roark, who took the first loss of his career in a game he pitched at home.

“He has [courage]. He goes out there and gives it his all, he gives us the opportunity to win every time he goes out there. You have to give him a lot of credit.”

  1. Sonny G 10 - May 22, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    “He has [courage]…” Hahahaha! Good substitution, Chase. I saw on twitter what word he really said. :)

  2. Doc - May 22, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    Chase, it would take some [courage] to write what Span really said!

    • Sonny G 10 - May 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Aw Doc, that would be [nuts]. :)

  3. Doc - May 22, 2014 at 6:17 AM

    One night the Nats destroy someone who was arguably the best pitcher in baseball; the next night they wimp out against a 35 year old relief pitcher.

    Adjust guys, adjust!

    • bowdenball - May 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Welcome to baseball, Doc. Stuff like that has been happening for 100 years and it’s gonna happen until they stop playing the game.

      • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        That’s probably similar to what the Reds were thinking. “We beat Strasburg, and lost with Cueto pitching??”

  4. ArVAFan - May 22, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Funny incident at home:

    I went to the last three games (yes, I sat behind the Chicken Man on Tuesday). When I got home last night, spouse says “are they on the road on Thursday?” I’m thinking “Uh, oh, she’s getting ready to say ‘Good, enough already with the baseball games’.” Instead, after I tell her that they’re playing in Pittsburgh, she says “Good, we’ll be able to listen to the game on the drive up to your mom’s in Delaware.” {sign of relief}.

    • Candide - May 22, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      :-)

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      I love when that happens!

    • Sonny G 10 - May 22, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      :) Know what you mean.

  5. habs3 - May 22, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Forget about our pitching what this team needs is hitting. Even including those on the IR we really do not have clutch hitters. I would say the best guy we have is Zimmerman. After that it is hit or miss. The McLouth signing at $5mm per just boggles the mind. I recall Rizzo refusing to pay $5mm for Morse because that was too much money for a bench player. Morse who is a better hitter than any bench player we have this year was available for the taking this year. Rizzo lets his ego get in th way of good sound baseball decisions.
    We will finish as a also ran because we lack hitting.

    • Hiram Hover - May 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      The team has been missing the heart of its line-up and is still only 1-1/2 games back in the division. And it’s mid-May.

      And you’re writing off the season?

    • chaz11963 - May 22, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      That makes almost no sense. What do you mean by “clutch hitting”? How do you measure that?

      Everyone praised the McLouth signing. It was seen as a significant commitment to upgrade the bench from 2013. McLouth is having a bad year at the plate so far, no way Rizzo could have predicted that. Morse is an everyday player, not a bench player. Where would Morse play everyday in the Nats lineup?

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        +1

    • Candide - May 22, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Yeah.

      Because having RZimm in the lineup yesterday while Espinosa sat on the bench would have made no difference in the result.

      Because having Harper in the lineup yesterday while McLouth sat on the bench would have made no difference in the result.

      (I’ll call ALR vs. Moore a wash since TyMo got on base twice yesterday.)

      The fact that this team is only 1-1/2 games out despite having a batting order that features AAAA-level hitting in spots 6-9 is a freakin’ miracle.

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Forget about our pitching what this team needs is hitting….

      YOU’RE RIGHT!!

      Now, if only they could pick up, and add to their line-up, guys like, umm, say, a Harper, LaRoche, or a Zimerman, they’d be really cooking!

    • tcostant - May 22, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Bottom line on Morse is he wasn’t coming back to be a bench player. He went to the Giants to create value by playing every day, so he can get a larger contract. He took that deal, betting on himself.

  6. 6ID20 - May 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Morning haiku:

    For Ross Detwiler
    No options and one left hand
    Can equal nine lives

    • Doc - May 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Better to be born a Lefty, if you wanna be a pitcher!

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      Nice!!!

      • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        And I’m looking forward to more morning haikus in the future!

    • tcostant - May 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      BTW – Det doesn’t have a minor league option because of that stupid call up in Sept the year he was drafted, I think he pitched a inning that year in the majors. Just stupid.

      • 6ID20 - May 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Reportedly that was a concession made by Bowden in lieu of Det’s request for a major league deal. Just serves to emphasize how disappointing Det has been for a #1 pick. He’s not as big a bust as Marrero, but he’s close.

      • Section 222 - May 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Absolutely right. Although, he used up his options years ago, so even if Bowden hadn’t done that, he’d be long out of options by now. He was drafted in 2006!

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    When watching the Nats often fail to hit in key situations, it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
    “The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.”
    ― H.L. Mencken

    • bowdenball - May 22, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      Just to make sure I’m clear on this one … you’re referring to the team that scored 9 runs without three of its best hitters two days ago, right?

      • bowdenball - May 22, 2014 at 9:17 AM

        Make that four of its best hitters- I forgot that Ramos was out on Tuesday.

      • habs3 - May 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        Forget the 9 runs. What is their average runs per game? Mean reversion Sparky, mean reversion.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        Notice that I didn’t say that they never hit in key situations, but come on, bb, you know as well as anybody how often they have left RISP.

      • Hiram Hover - May 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        On the season, with RISP, Nats are 10th in the NL in BA but 3d in OBP and 4th in OPS.

      • 6ID20 - May 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Average number of runs per game in the Reds series: 4.33. Can’t complain about that.

    • bowdenball - May 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      I’m not sure they’ve left runners in scoring position at a much different rate than should be expected. They’re 8th in the NL in OPS overall. They’re 12th in OPS with runners in scoring position but not only .013 away from 9th. That’s gonna happen when you have the likes of Rendon and Werth hitting second and third with the likes of Espinosa and Frandsen just a couple spots behind them. When you lose three of your best guys to injury you end up with a couple elite guys but nobody there to support them.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        So you just basically agreed with my quote above regarding the competency of a couple of the guys I was referring to with my quote that was really meant to add humor to the morning.

      • Hiram Hover - May 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        Disregard my #s above–BBs are right here.

        (Without realising it, I clicked a button that limited the search to OFers).

  8. habs3 - May 22, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    I know posters to Natsinsider cannot not be critical of the team but lets be objective. This team always seems to have an excuse. If we are truly honest this team is like last year. Nothing against them but they are overrated. They are not underachievers.

    McLouth had one good year with Baltimore which was last year. Yes I know he was an allstar years back but he also played himself off two teams. For that we pony up $10mm. It was not a smart move then and It is proving to be a disastrous move now. .

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      Oh, please. Having McClouth is not a disaster. It’s *not* having LaRoche, RZim, Harper (all former all starts) and Ramos and Fister for most of the season — *that’s* the disaster.

      You can call it an “excuse” — the more objective folks (you want us to be objective, right?) among us will call it an “explanation.”

      Don’t you think that missing players such as LaRoche, RZim, Harper, Ramos, and Fister, almost all at the same time, would have a negative impact on *any* team? (speaking objectively, of course)

      There’s over 110 games left, we have big guns joining us soon, and we’re only 1.5 games behind. Objectively speaking.

    • bowdenball - May 22, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      No rational fan expected the Nats to play the .600 ball that many expected in the preseason after losing Ramos, Zimmerman and Harper to long-term injuries and LaRoche and Gonzalez to short-term injuries. The team had high expectations based on the elite talent on the roster. When a significant amount of that talent isn’t playing the expectations should adjust. I’d say the people who didn’t adjust those expectations are the ones who aren’t being objective or rational.

      I have no idea what you’re talking about with McLouth. A two year ten million deal doesn’t affect the team’s finances in any significant way. I also find it a little odd that you’re dismissing last season as just “one good year” while simultaneously concluding that signing him was a “disastrous move” based on 88 plate appearances. You see the problem with that, right?

      • Hiram Hover - May 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        C’mon, the poster is applying universally rules of objectivity.

        1. When judging a contract, it must be judged in hindsight only, and

        2. That hindsight must be applied when no more than 1/6th of the duration of the contract has expired.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        +1 for each of Wonk’s, bb’s, and hh’s comments above.

    • Hiram Hover - May 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      Two things:

      1. You’re declaring the the season over in mid-May with the team 1-1/2 games back, and it’s everyone else who’s failing to be “objective”? Thanks for another chuckle.

      2. As to having excuses, here’s one for you, since one good turn deserves another:

      A man staggers into an ER with a gunshot wound.

      Nurse, looking up from admissions desk: Hey, stop bleeding all over my floor!

      Man: I’ve been shot!

      Nurse: Everyone in here seems to have an excuse!

    • Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      I haven’t given up on Nate McLouth yet.Though he has been very disappointing at the plate, other than one play, he has done a very good job in the outfield. I also like having a baserunner like him available to pinch run when the situation calls for it.Nor have I given up on Denard Span as the leadoff hitter, Matt Williams as the manager, Mike Rizzo as the GM ,ALR as the first baseman, or Ryan Zimmerman My hat’s off to Tyler Moore for the job he has done and also for Gregg Dobbs.[credits go to natsjack for telling us that signing Dobbs was a good move]. I was never a fan of Kevin Frandsen when he was in Philly, but have been overall pleased when he has played LF. His infield play is exactly the same as it was in Philly, i.e. good enough to lose with.

      I have resigned myself that it is extremely unlikely that Danny Espinosa is ever going to hit consistently enough to be any more than a utility player when ALR and Ryan return.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        And yes, I do think that Ryan Zimmerman will return to play third base, at least until he shows that he can’t. They have to improve on Danny Espinosa’s production at the plate. Putting Zim in LF does nothing to address that issue. Also, for those that think that Zimm will be the leftfielder, Harper the centerfielder, and Span to be the 4th outfielder? I think that you all need to adjust your wigs. It ain’t gonna play out that way.

      • 6ID20 - May 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        I’ll say this for Greg Dobbs. He puts the bat on the ball. He must have at least 10 Nats AB by now. Not one K, and almost all of his outs are in the OF.

  9. numbskull111 - May 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    “Disastrous” might be a bit of an overstatement. His hitting has been sub-par, but his defense has been outstanding…and given the way our defense has played this year, and how inept our offense has been at scoring runs….taking away some hits and limiting the other team’s ABs have helped keep us in some games.

  10. jd - May 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    habs3,

    Please check your facts before you post. You say Mc.Louth only had 1 good year. Let’s review:

    2007 – .258 .351 13 HR’s 1.4 WAR
    2008- .276 .356 26 HR’s 3.5 WAR
    2009 – .256 .352 20 HR’s 3.2 WAR
    2013- .258 .329 12 HR’s 2.5 WAR

    I guess you never let facts ruin a good rant, do you?

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Worth the read as Tom Boswell does an Espi story.

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/danny-espinosa-is-back-with-the-nationalsbut-the-jury-is-still-out-on-whether-hell-remain/2014/05/21/2ef97fd8-e145-11e3-8dcc-d6b7fede081a_story.html

    All I can say is and repeat that Danny found some inspiration on the infield dirt. It’s great being a good 2nd baseman but the great ones find that extra gear and get dirty. Was it Aaron Hill or Brandon Phillips that showed him the way to getting dirty? Those last 2 games showed me that he can contribute even if he does have an o-fer at the plate.

    I’ve been waiting to see Web Gem Danny. He’s always made the routine plays and showed + range but too often couldn’t or wouldn’t lay out. Between Danny and TyMo I counted 4 hits turned into outs and 1 hit smothered that was ticketed for RF for a RBI.

    That is where defense translates into the total player.

    There’s nobody I give more grief to then Danny and sometimes you need to say “way to go” and Danny really showed me something!

    • Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      That was a good read. So for the moment, assume that Zim will play 3rd when he heals up. How does it all play out?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it’s Danny who gets the Leftfielders glove.

        Nats didn’t lose yesterday due to lack of offense (although that would’ve helped) they lost because of that error.

        Rendon made plays at 3rd like RZim used to. Espi and TyMo and Ramos and McLouth all made the ESPN Web Gems. This team is built on pitching and defense and when you do those well, you don’t lose often.

      • Section 222 - May 22, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        If Zim hadn’t been injured, how many starts per week would Espi have made? One, maybe? He was given a huge opportunity and hasn’t delivered. This Zim in LF boomlet is entertaining, but I’d put Frandsen, McLouth, or even Hairston out there over keeping Espi at 2B and experimenting with Zim. He’s got enough to deal with without putting him in a new position. And I know you’re joking about Danny and a LF glove, but you put infield guys in LF because you want their bats in the lineup. Like Walters that one time, or even Zim. Do you really want to find room for Espi to keep striking out at 43.9% rate as he’s done this month?

        I have to disagree with you Ghost about yesterday’s game. Aren’t you the guy who preached the importance of scoring 4 or more runs? We lost because we could only get one run off of Alfredo Simon, not because they scored two runs (one of which preceded the error by the way). We had 6 turns at bat after they took the lead and couldn’t even get one run. That’s why we lost.

  12. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    We’ve reached the Cliffs of Insanity.

    “You were supposed to be this colossus. You were this great, legendary thing — and yet he gains.”
    “I’m carrying three people. He’s only got himself.”
    “I DO NOT accept excuses! Did I make it clear that your JOB is at stake?”

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      probably should have used this link, starts at 1:15

  13. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Stats are funny things. One that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, but I find interesting: in 2013 the Nats averaged leaving 6.61 runners left on base per game. This year they have averaged 7.35 runners LOB, which is 22nd in the ML. Of course, you have to get guys on to start with in order to leave them on.

  14. Joe Seamhead - May 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Word Press is goofy early today…

  15. natsfan1a - May 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Way behind on reading posts and comments. Did see the game, though. Eh.

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