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Game 49: Nats at Pirates

May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PITTSBURGH — There have been 49 Major League Baseball amateur drafts, and of the 49 players selected with the No. 1 overall pick, only 16 have been pitchers. And two of those 16 pitchers (Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole) will be on the mound tonight at PNC Park, squaring off against each other.

It’s only the second head-to-head matchup of No. 1 picks in the last decade — Kris Benson faced Paul Wilson in 2005, David Price faced Luke Hochevar in 2012 — and this one features not only two No. 1 overall draft picks, but two right-handers who grew up in Southern California, have fastballs capable of reaching triple digits and were paid really good money before ever throwing a pitch as a professional ballplayer.

The Nationals, who as you know have been struggling to score runs, will take a crack at Cole tonight with a lineup nearly identical to last night. The only change: Danny Espinosa is back at second base, with Anthony Rendon shifting back to third base and Zach Walters on the bench. Otherwise, this is the group that will have to someone put together enough runs to win a ballgame and avoid falling below the .500 mark.

A heads-up that tonight’s game is on Fox, with F.P. Santangelo joining Justin Kutcher for the call. Most of the East Coast will get this game. Click on the link below to see the coverage map…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Where:
PNC Park
Gametime: 7:15 p.m. EDT
TV: Fox (regional coverage map here), MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 73 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (24-24)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
1B Greg Dobbs
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Nate McLouth
RHP Stephen Strasburg

PIRATES (21-26)
RF Josh Harrison
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Ike Davis
C Russell Martin
3B Pedro Alvarez
LF Starling Marte
SS Clint Barmes
RHP Gerrit Cole

UMPIRES
HP Gabe Morales
1B Tim Timmons
2B Tim Welke (cc)
3B Todd Tichenor

7:16 p.m. — And we’re underway on another gorgeous night for baseball. Close to a full house here at PNC Park as Gerrit Cole fires a fastball inside to Denard Span for ball one.

7:21 p.m. — And Cole retires the side on 11 pitches, getting Span to popup, Anthony Rendon to fly out and Jayson Werth to ground out. It’s your turn, Stephen Strasburg.

7:28 p.m. — Strasburg sees Cole’s 11-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning and raises him a 9-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning. He struck out Neil Walker on a 90-mph changeup, got Josh Harrison to pop out and Andrew McCutchen to fly out to center. Good start to this game, this could be a fun one tonight.

7:35 p.m. — A nice, controlled swing from Greg Dobbs, resulting in an opposite-field single for the first hit of the night by either team. Dobbs is now 4-f0r-13 with a sac fly since joining the Nats, and if I had to guess, I’d say he’ll be sticking around awhile longer even after Adam LaRoche comes off the DL tomorrow.

7:41 p.m. — Danny Espinosa and Russell Martin jawed at each other a bit last night after Espinosa was drilled in the knee by a pitch. And Strasburg just hit Martin on the first pitch he saw at the plate tonight. Hmm … But before you get worked up, it was a curveball by Strasburg. No intent there. Meanwhile, Strasburg is through two scoreless innings on a scant 15 pitches. He’s dialed-in so far tonight. Scoreless as we go to the third.

8:01 p.m. — They haven’t scored a run, but the Nats have made Cole throw 51 pitches in three innings. So that’s something, I suppose. They got a great at-bat out of Rendon in the top of the third, an 11-pitch at-bat that ended in a walk. Great battle by the guy who was supposed to be the No. 1 pick in 2011 against the guy who wound up being the No. 1 pick that year. Werth battled, too, but wound up striking out on a slider that appeared to be below the knees. So the Nats are 0-for-1 with RISP so far tonight. Still 0-0 as Strasburg takes the mound for the bottom of the third.

8:09 p.m. — Make it 9 batters faced by Strasburg in three innings on only 32 pitches. The lone Pirate to reach base: Martin on the HBP, but he was immediately erased on a double play. Strasburg has been in complete control so far, getting ahead of hitters and exhibiting perhaps the best fastball command he’s had all season.

8:19 p.m. — You know who is swinging a hot bat? Ian Desmond. He just belted an 0-1 change-up from Cole over the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark, left-center, for his ninth homer of the season. Over his last 12-plus games, Desmond is now hitting .306 with a .358 OBP, .673 slugging percentage and five homers. He looks like the guy we saw the last two seasons. Nats take a 1-0 lead in the fourth.

8:31 p.m. — You know who else is swinging a hot bat? Neil Walker, who blasted his 10th homer of the season just now, sending a Strasburg fastball into the bullpen in left-center. That was the Pirates’ first hit of the night, and it produced their first run, tying this game 1-1 after four.

8:49 p.m. — But the Nats come right back and re-take the lead thanks to a nice, grind-it-out at-bat from Ramos, who wound up poking an RBI single to right. That’s the first run-scoring hit by the Nats with a man in scoring position since the sixth inning on TUESDAY. Remarkable. They had a chance to deliver a knockout punch to Cole in the top of the fifth, but they stranded the bases loaded. Still, they’ve made Cole throw 98 pitches already, so they’re going to get to the Pirates bullpen early. It’s 2-1 Nats heading to the bottom of the fifth.

9:11 p.m. — From the “This Is Not Good Department”: Danny Espinosa just struck out for the third time tonight. He now has struck out 100 times — with only 10 walks — in 329 plate appearances over the last two seasons. That is REALLY not good.

9:25 p.m. — Strasburg is through six innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball, but his pitch count is starting to climb. He’s at 91. Cole, meanwhile, is done after 112 pitches through six innings. The Nats will take their hacks at reliever Jared Hughes now in the seventh, still leading 2-1.

9:31 p.m. — So, kind of an interesting moment just now. Werth had his bat sawed into pieces by Hughes, with the ball ending up in fair territory, going back to the pitcher. He took about five steps out of the box, then gave up on the play as Hughes threw to first for the easy out. I’m not saying Matt Williams should bench him for that, but it would be interesting to hear Williams explain the difference between that and what Bryce Harper did last month.

9:48 p.m. — And just like that, the Nats are trailing this ballgame. Strasburg got into a jam in the seventh, putting runners on second and third with one out. Jose Tabata lined out to center for a sac fly. Then came a curious decision: After falling behind in the count, Strasburg intentionally walked light-hitting pinch-hitter Travis Snider to put runners on second and third with two outs. Josh Harrison then stepped up and smoked a base hit to center. Span threw to third base and got the trailing runner, but not until after the lead runner scored. Three questions for Matt Williams: 1) Why not let Strasburg pitch to Snider? 2) If not, why not bring in a lefty to face Snider? 3) Why not bring in another righty to face Harrison, with Strasburg at 108 pitches and fading? Anyways, it’s 3-2 Pirates now after seven.

10:08 p.m. — Last chance for the Nats. They trail 3-2 in the ninth, and it’ll be McLouth, a pinch-hitter (Kevin Frandsen?) and Span against Mark Melancon.

10:15 p.m. — That’s the ballgame. Nats lose a really tough one, 3-2. They’ve dropped four in a row, and at 24-25 they’re under .500 for the first time since Aug. 22, 2013.

198 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Candide - May 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Dobbs instead of Moore at first. I guess MW thinks Dobbs was majorly impressive last night – 0-2 with one K and taken out for a pinch hitter his third time around.

    Did TyMo pee in MW’s coffee this morning?

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      RHP, no?

      • David Proctor - May 24, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Moore fares better against RHP than LHP. I’m not a big T-Mo fan, but I’d rather see him in there than Dobbs.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      I’ll be glad to see ALR back. Tomorrow?

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      If he didn’t he should have.

    • natsjackinfl - May 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      And Dobbs comes through. Much prefer the veteran over the righty/righty match up that Cole/Moore gives you.

  2. David Proctor - May 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    The Phillies are beating up on Haren. 4 runs in less than 2 innings. Seems Haren is reverting back to what he was with us after a great start.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      If I were a better person that wouldn’t make me smile so much.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      I thought Haren was a class act while here and tried to help the team anyway he could. Unlike Soriano who is selfish.

  3. David Proctor - May 24, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    LaRoche is in Pittsburgh, which indicates he will play tomorrow. Sort of an awful matchup for him though, going against Francisco Liriano.

    • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      When ALR coems back, who goes?

      I wonder if they are thinking of getting rid of Dobbs, and this is a sort of final shot for him to prove his value in the lineup.

      Not sure if that’s really a good way to make the decision–just wondering about their thought process.

      • Eric - May 24, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        I suspect Moore will go back down…I’d be surprised if they gave up on Dobbs that quickly.

      • Eric - May 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        Especially since in the long run, the roster spot in question is for a bench player, not a starting platoon, and Dobbs is way better in that role than Moore.

      • DaveB - May 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Seems like ZachW is the other possibility as he’s been scuffling lately … TyMo does offer the RH alternative to ALR until RZ comes back.

      • Eric - May 24, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Hrm…I like the Walters prediction best so far…good call.

      • natsjackinfl - May 24, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Have fun in Syracuse Tyler. (Or maybe Zach).

      • dcwx61 - May 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        walters not yet

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      Stevie wonder would be a upgrade from these guys.

  4. NatsLady - May 24, 2014 at 4:44 PM

  5. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Ty Mo definitely over Dobbs.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Hahaha. It’s definitely a LOAD of something

  6. NatsLady - May 24, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Robbie Ray was sent back down.

    • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Rizzo wins!

      • dcwx61 - May 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        Not yet, i hope he does well

      • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        Just joking about people second guessing at every turn.

        I wish Ray the best.

  7. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Holy Toledo!!!!

  8. unkyd59 - May 24, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    My hopes and my expectations are still high. Our rotation includes two gentlemen who have earned Cy Young votes in one of the last two years (Gio&Zimnn), Strasberg, whose potential I’ve no reason to believe has diminished, and even In his present state is above avg, Fister who’s tried and true, and Tanner, who has really done little but impress, to this point. Our offense will heat up, as our big bats come off the DL, and even with a string of truly remarkable webgems robbing them of clutch hits, the bench has put upwards of 5-6 men on base every game. Throw in a bullpen full of cold blooded assassins, and I have no difficulty, whatsoever envisioning this team winning the division by 10 games… The sky is still the limit with these guys, and with good luck in the areas of health and BABIP, we could be in for some historically fine baseball, over the second half!!

    GYFNGOGOGO!!!!! (Don’t see too much of this, anymore….. ‘Samatta? Trolls got’cher tongue?) ;-)

    • Another_Sam - May 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Regarding webgems – you need to turn off the audio on the TV broadcasts. Just kidding.

  9. knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Well first of all it looks like Fox has decided my area of Tennessee gets the Cards/Reds game tonight and not the Nats. Ugh to that.

    Can Dobbs play third base? If so I’m thinking they send Walters down. On the other hand we have plenty of guys who can play first base, LaRoche, Moore, Frandsen and Dobbs so maybe TyMo gets sent back to the ‘Cuse.

  10. scnatsfan - May 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Again I hope tonight is the night the turn begins

  11. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Come on get this W Nats!

  12. npb99 - May 24, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    We need the Prince of the franchise to be the man tonight. Or as that evil Tywin Lannister said to his son: “You’re blessed with abilities that few men possess….. The future of our family will be determined in these next few months. We could establish a dynasty that would last a thousand years… or we could collapse into nothing, as the Targaryens did. I need you to become a man you’re always meant to be. Not next year, not tomorrow… now.”

  13. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Eww.

  14. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Wazzup guys. We gonna split this series. That’s my Nostradumbass for the weekend.

  15. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Ok, Dobbs can stay.

  16. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Arg.

  17. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Overmatched is an understatement. lolEspi.

  18. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Amazing, the HBP didnt score on Stras!!!! Progress!

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      +1

  19. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Great news.
    2 innings, no runs

  20. Section 222 - May 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      +1

    • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Awesome!

  21. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Hey hey hey…. Checking in from Braves country… Yes, I’m wearing my Nats gear… Proudly too… Here’s to the Nats winning today… Hopefully our 2,3,4 and 5 batters can check in and do their thing….

    Let’s go Nats! See y’all when I get back from the beach…

  22. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Superb AB Rendon

  23. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    That was low. B.S.

  24. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Strike 3 was at his ankles…

  25. Eugene in Oregon - May 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    So does Fox not use PitchTrak or PitchFX or whatever? They’re willing to unskew polls but won’t unskew a strike zone?

  26. Section 222 - May 24, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Stras looks real sharp tonight. FB consistently 95. Pitching down in the zone. Rendon and Wetth made Cole work last inning. Time to get something going.

    Big crowd here, festive atmosphere.

  27. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Stras gotta throw a shutout tonight. WERTh hitting like he did his first season here.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      You can’t be serious about that.

  28. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Dez! Dez! Dez!

  29. Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Ian!

  30. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Can’t score if you don’t swing. Ramos needs to sit a day. He’s just been awful. See if you swing you can score. Nice job Ian

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Espinosa swings at enough for both of them.

  31. Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Mr. McCutchen, meet the ground.

  32. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    See if you swing the fielder might miss it.

  33. unkyd59 - May 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Ok… Play defense, guys!

  34. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Hahaa. But don’t swing at that crap. Sheeeeesh espi

  35. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    What’s not to like about that? Way to go Desi!
    Nice try by McCutchen, but Dobbs 2-2! Too cool!

  36. Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Danny, WTF…

  37. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    HR
    In and out of Mccu glove.
    Is this the change?

  38. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Two words. Steve Lombardozzi.

  39. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    What an absolute joke of an AB. Espi is completely lost. Holy.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Yeah he’s finished put him down. Embarrassing

  40. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Omg that may have been the worst ab in baseball history..

  41. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Oof. Will someone put Danny Espinosa out of my misery?

  42. philipd763 - May 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    We are back to the 2013 version of Danny Espinosa. He’s back to being a strike out machine.

  43. knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    So “Secret whatever” is on again tonight sharing his knowledge.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Wasian man. Half chinese half white dude. From Johnny Rivers hit Secret Asian Man

  44. philipd763 - May 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Good idea, get Lombardozzi back ASAP. Send Espinosa to Auburn.

  45. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Desmond should bat cleanup. Ramos has done nothin in that spot. Move Ramos 5 th

    • knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Can’t score if you don’t swing. Ramos needs to sit a day. He’s just been awful. See if you swing you can score. Nice job Ian

      Which is it Secret? You can’t have it both ways.

  46. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    How about McClouth back to Bmore for Lombo. It’s a lot cheaper.

  47. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Darn it!

    BTW, I hate Fox baseball coverage. Stupid interviews during the game action.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      I’m enjoying FP. Unfortunately he and Carp have no chemistry whatsoever, IMHO.

      • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        Me too.

  48. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Well we had the lead for 6 minutes .

  49. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Here goes Strasburg. Hold you breath

    • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      False.

  50. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Nice change to get out of that.

  51. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Nice job stras

  52. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Nice pop up slide on the feet first steal by Rendon, but he was lucky the throw was wide as he actually was a couple inches short of the bag.

  53. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Let’s go Buffalo

  54. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    excuse me….
    if both runners go???
    why does the batter swing???

  55. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Glory hallelujah!!!! We batted in a run!!!!!!

  56. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    da balls, dey be a droppin’

  57. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    We’re making Cole work. Should be in the pen soon.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      Supposedly a number of their prime BP guys aren’t available (ideally).

      • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        Saw that NatsLady post. Grilli, Watson, and Wilson

    • davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      96pc

  58. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    all w/2 outs

  59. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Come on Dobbs.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Good contact. Meh result.

  60. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Terrible Dobbs…. Terrible…

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Why?

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        Cole has been all over… Dobbs is kinda on the ropes… Take that pitch and work the at bat more…

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Why this team is.500. Terrible terrible

    • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Ike Davis was perfectly positioned for Dobbs.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        He should have taken the pitch… Walked 2 batters that inning and hit a guy… Work the count more.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        No argument that he could’ve taken the pitch, but Davis didn’t have to budge to make the play.

  61. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Gotta take that pitch. Not good. Could have blown it open

  62. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    loaded left
    still havn’t cracked it

  63. Danny - May 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Man a hit there would have been great.

  64. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Gameday showed that pitch to Dobbs right down Main Street. I have no problem with that swing at all.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      He was not going to get a better pitch to hit than that one. And he hit it pretty hard.

      • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        Hey, watch it. You’ll take all the fun out of the mindless criticism and 2d guessing.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        Yeah… It’s mindless to say a guy should work the count after the pitcher has been wild this inning… You sound… Well, mindless saying such foolishness…

  65. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Cole throwing 1 out of four balls for strikes. 2 and o And Dobbs swings. Selfish stupid ball team.

  66. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Marte brain f@rt.

  67. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Marte, “Doh!”

  68. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Dobbs needs to work the count so maybe he’ll get the same pitch again? Okay.

    • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      He already worked it and got a fastball down the pike on a 2-0 count. I agree, he just missed it.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      HA!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      Did you see the inning… Cole was all over that inning in the form of a hbp and 2 walks he threw 2 balls… Should have taken that K. And made him throw another one… But lets all give him a round of applause for ‘making contact’.

      Bases loaded and only 1 run… Yippee…

      • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        Look where the pitch was on GameDay, or whatever. Right down the pipe.
        2-0 count is all the count-working you need to do if you get your pitch. I guess he could have aimed it better.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        I don’t need to see game day as I’m watching the game… I saw a pitcher all over and we bailed him out…

      • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        So, your final answer is he should have worked a walk to bring up Espinosa with the bases loaded?

        I’m finished.

  69. knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Can’t score if you don’t swing. Ramos needs to sit a day. He’s just been awful. See if you swing you can score. Nice job Ian

    Which is it Secret? You can’t have it both ways.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      If you can hit swing. If your Espi or Mclouth just stand there. It’s working for Mclouth 2 walks

  70. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Looking at the bottom third of the Nats lineup I guess Hurdle figured it doesn’t get any more low stress than that.

  71. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    playing w/your mind:
    when Laro comes back, Espi goes AAA

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      In my fondest dreams.

  72. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    3K’s on Espy. Has he seen more than 10 pitches total in the 3 at bats?

  73. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Bat this in, Span. This is a big run.

  74. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Maybe Danny doesn’t need to switch hit anymore… He has reverted something serious….

  75. David Proctor - May 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    How the hell does Espinosa look at strike 3 when he swings at everything else? He swings at obvious balls and looks at obvious strikes. It’s amazing, really.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      THAT is reminiscent of 2011 vintage Werth. Or any year Espi.

    • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      Those were nice pitches. Danny does love to swing at junk.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      He has no business on a major league roster

  76. Ghost of Steve M. - May 24, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Espinosa with 3 Ks on the minimum 9 pitches. If it was 1 inning it would be an immaculate inning for the pitcher

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      He needs to perfect his swing from 1 side… And that’s it… It’s like he forgot everything from April… Chasing stuff and then not swinging asked ago… Just brutal…

  77. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Another home plate umpire with zero consistencies in his calls.

  78. dcwx61 - May 24, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    A new meaning of McOUT

    • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      +1

  79. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Very nice McLouth

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 24, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      He has a good line on offense these past few games… Hopefully it’s his turning point…

  80. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    So far,Stras had had good defense behind him this game.

  81. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Damn, I jinxed him.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Good. We’ll blame you now.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        That’s okay.My shoulders are wide!

  82. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Can we at least agree that Strasburg has been a horse tonight? Or do we have to wait and see how it turns out?

  83. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    stras had mccu
    let him get away w/ pitch 4 &5

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      I don’t think you’ve ever “got” Cutch until he’s draggin’ bat back to the dugout.

      • knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        +1

  84. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Even though Stras PC low, have him on a short leash. This game is way too close.

  85. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Take him out now

  86. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Son of a….

  87. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Saying Strasburg left that pitch “up” redefines “up.”

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      THAT one to Tabata was “up.”

  88. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    Stras has done well but that’s not good enough for this pathetic hitting bunch.

  89. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    I knew it.

  90. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Win, lose, or draw, this has been a helluva game.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      Yeah, I don’t feel cheated.

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      So it’s gotten So bad that folks are just happy with a good game? Didn’t realize this was little league. What a total losers mentality

      • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        You are a child. If I’ve never told you that before, I will now.

        Here’s a tissue. Now, blow. Harder.

  91. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    In the context of the whole season leaving Strasburg in May be the right decision, but I’d rather have seen Storen pitching to Tabata, at least. Maybe Harrison, too. But I don’t have to live with these guys for nine months.

  92. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    lay down an die time

  93. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Another loss. That’s 4 straight. Under .500 and going to get a 4 game sweep tomorrow. MW is a terrible manager and this is once again a disappointing season.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      When you declare a game “lost” it gives me hope.

  94. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Storen in the eighth? Tectonic plates are shifting!

  95. secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Game lost season lost. This team sucks. MW was a terrible hire by Rizzo. Forget this team they have nothing. See ya next season.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Later. Sure hate to see you go. Not…

      • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        Nobody has used the phrase”Not” for like 20 years. Does it stay cool in your Moms basement in the summer?

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      You are a natural born football fan. That isn’t a compliment.

      • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        Yes I am. And your a liberal. Which is surely not a compliment

    • Hiram Hover - May 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      See ya next season

      If only….

  96. knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Not jumping on MW like my boy Secret above but I have to wonder if Williams is making some rookie manager mistakes?

    “Three questions for Matt Williams: 1) Why not let Strasburg pitch to Snider? 2) If not, why not bring in a lefty to face Snider? 3) Why not bring in another righty to face Harrison, with Strasburg at 108 pitches and fading? “

    • dcwx61 - May 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      +1, one thing about Davey,,He’d make the switch

      • David Proctor - May 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        Did you watch Davey? If Strasburg started the inning, he was going to finish it barring a complete meltdown.

      • NatsLady - May 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        I was thinking that, too. Leaving Stras in was Davey all over.

  97. tmac777 - May 24, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    In-game decisions do not seem to be a strong point with Matt Williams, which begs the question why is he here? His efforts to improve the defense clearly are not working. We are going to be stuck with this guy for at least 2 full seasons because this is Rizzo’s guy. I have a feeling it will be 2 wasted seasons.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      I’m not a fan, I will freely admit. So far I’ve seen no evidence that he brings anything to the table. The best I can say is “it’s only May.”

    • secretwasianman - May 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Excellent point. Another awful job by MW. I miss Riggleman.

      • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        Weren’t you going somewhere?

    • tmac777 - May 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      The one thing I keep clinging to is the Dodgers struggled with injuries and were bad last May and then went nuts.

      • karlkolchak - May 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM

        Yeah, but I’ll bet the Dodgers had an actual time table for the return of their injured players rather than “Oh maybe by July.”

        This team is in free fall because of the injuries. They desperately need Zim back so they can get Espinosa out of the everyday lineup. It has to happen soon, or they’re going to get buried…again.

      • tmac777 - May 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        If Zimmerman, Walters, Frandsen and Rendon were all hurt, Espinosa still shouldn’t play. There’s a 3rd baseman named Laird batting .300 at Syracuse. Being him up, put Rendon at 2nd. Espinosa can’t even put the ball in play.

  98. dcwx61 - May 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Why can’t we get Johnny Cueto…more

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      Yeah, Cueto and Fernandez alla time and we’d be golden.

  99. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    I hope that Ramos didn’t just get hurt on the ricochet off of the HBP.

  100. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    MW was showing confidence in Stras by allowing him to pitch out of trouble and save his win. It didn’t work.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Wanted him to finish the inning and get a chance for the Win, also. IMO.

    • knoxvillenat - May 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Well maybe but with a one run lead entering the seventh and Stras laboring I would have preferred Storen in the seventh, Clip n the 8th and Soriano to close it out in the ninth.

  101. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    People, people, people.

    “If you give a troll a cookie…”

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Ignore all you want, but the fact is he’ll post fifteen times in a row in the middle of the thread!

  102. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    That said, I’d’ve had Blevins up for the seventh.

    • veejh - May 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      I said have him on a short leash. MW had other plans. As soon as he gave up the leadoff single, you pull him.

  103. Joe Seamhead - May 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Shew! Espinosa made that interesting. Nice save by Dobbs!

  104. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Time to shine, McLouth.

  105. tmac777 - May 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    At least we’re not the Red Sox, though with the way we are playing that might not be true in 5 games.

    • stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Hey, we still have a better record than the Bucs!

      Okay, even I’m not consoled by that.

  106. veejh - May 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    These 1 run losses are starting to annoy the hell out of me.

  107. stoatva - May 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Three one run losses. Oy.

  108. davecydell - May 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Another wild ride,
    around those curves,
    in the Nat’s pick up truck,
    with no clutch.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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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