Skip to content

Game 52: Marlins at Nats

May 27, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

The Nationals aren’t scoring runs. This probably isn’t news to you. They’ve scored a total of 14 runs over their last six games (five of them losses). In their 26 losses this season, they’ve scored 52 total runs. Yes, that’s an average of 2 runs per game. (FYI: They’ve scored an average of 5.84 runs in their 25 wins to date.)

So, Matt Williams has to start doing some things to try to give his team a chance to be more productive at the plate. For now, that means a switch at second base. Danny Espinosa — 0 for his last 13 with eight strikeouts — takes a seat today despite a right-hander on the mound for the Marlins (Henderson Alvarez). Kevin Frandsen, who actually has better numbers against righties (.711 OPS) than lefties (.491) this season, gets his second start at second base in three days.

Blake Treinen, meanwhile, makes his third career start, trying to do what so many other members of the Nationals pitching staff have been unable to do: Get Giancarlo Stanton out. It’ll be interesting to see how Stanton fares against Treinen’s upper 90s sinker tonight.

It’s a hot, sticky day in the District, and there’s a good chance of storms later this afternoon and evening. Check back for updates throughout…

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184, MLB.com
Weather: Thunderstorms, 82 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (25-26)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
2B Kevin Frandsen
LF Nate McLouth
RHP Blake Treinen

MARLINS (27-25)
LF Christian Yelich
2B Derek Dietrich
RF Giancarlo Stanton
3B Casey McGehee
1B Garret Jones
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
CF Marcell Ozuna
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez

UMPIRES
HP Seth Buckminster
1B Jim Reynolds
2B Brian Knight
3B Fieldin Culbreth (cc)

6:25 p.m. — Bad news: The tarp is on the field, the skies have darkened and there’s heavy rain on the way. So tonight’s game will not start on time. Will update if I hear anything else.

7:15 p.m. — And this game has officially been postponed. No announcement of a makeup date yet. Full story with details to come.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - May 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Danny is batting .600 against Henderson Alvarez with a 2.000 OPS. Sure, small sample size but Frandsen doesn’t thrive in RH-RH matchups.

    I rarely stand up for Espi but I figured he’d start due to the matchup.

    • stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      I imagine he wants to reinforce the message he sent when he pinch hit for Espinosa in the ninth yesterday.

      I supported that at the time (actually, even before he did it) so I guess I support this move too (not that anyone’s going to lose any sleep over my opinion, either way).

      • therealjohnc - May 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        The technical term for anyone who makes lineup decisions based on five at bats of data is “idiot.”

        And to further undermine the uselessness of the data, I’ll point out that the double and HR that Espinosa got against Alvarez were in 2012. When it comes to Danny, sadly, 2012 was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. On April 8 Danny faced Alvarez twice, whiffing once and getting a single. I tell you, even April 2014 Danny seems like a long, long time ago.

      • bowdenball - May 27, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        +1, the realjohnc. Always good to see technical terms used properly.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        John is a bright man. Hits the reply button and rags on everyone and always taking out of context to make himself look smarter than anyone else.

        Still waiting for John to give some real analysis.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        Steve, with respect, John is, as you are, a trenchant and serious commenter. Your touchiness does yourself a disservice, IMO.

      • therealjohnc - May 27, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        Ah, Steve is right that I can be a pompous jerk from time to time. I certainly have my dumb moments. I was in the “Sign Adam Dunn!” crowd, for example – thank goodness Rizzo didn’t listen to me on that one. Yikes.

    • rmoore446 - May 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      Mark above said Frandson had better numbers against RH: “Kevin Frandsen, who actually has better numbers against righties (.711 OPS) than lefties (.491) this season”. But that would be small sample size for certain.

      Usually Williams pays alot of attention to individual matchups, so I would have expected him to play Espi in hopes he might do well and regain his confidence.

      I feel for the guy, who has to be miserable.

    • secretwasianman - May 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Agree. Bet you know more than MW

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 27, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      The most any Nats player has against Alvarez is 13 at-bats. Like I said small sample sizes.

      Treinen being a sinker guy probably still benefits with Espi in the lineup for defense.

      I hope Frandsen gets a few to find open grass.

  2. stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN
    Ryan Zimmerman taking flyballs in left field, and for the first time, it looks like he’s getting actual coaching instruction out there.

    Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, please.

    • langleyclub - May 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Zimmerman has the athletic ability to be at least an average OF, but if he has problems muscling a throw from 3rd to 1st, hard to see how he is going to prevent base runners from taking multiple extra bases on his arm (or lack thereof). Can’t throw sidearm from the OF.

      • 6ID20 - May 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        He doesn’t have trouble muscling throws from 3rd to first. His problem is accuracy on the throw. From the outfield, he just has to hit the cutoff man, who’s allowed to move to the throw.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        And even then, it’s not the ones he has to gas that he has trouble with, so much as the routine, “playing catch”-type tosses. Maybe a few games in the outfield will reboot his yips and he can go back to third. It could happen.

      • adcwonk - May 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        ,,,has problems muscling a throw from 3rd to 1st ?? He’s got plenty of muscle! He’s been throwing over the 1st baseman’s head! ;-)

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 27, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        I remember Alphonso Soriano being pretty effective throwing sidearm from left field, so apparently it isn’t impossible.

      • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Yeah, I’m mystified by the idea that one can’t throw sidearm from the outfield…can someone please shed some light here?

  3. langleyclub - May 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Alvarez has been great at home (2-1 1.85 ERA 0.971 WHIP), but he has struggled on the road (0-2 4.88 ERA 1.843 WHIP). Also, RHB (.320) have hit better against him than LHB (.254). The Nats do not lose when they score 4 or more (20-1). Lets hope for some early runs!

  4. Sec 3 My Sofa - May 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Blake Treinen, meanwhile, makes his third career start, trying to do what so many other members of the Nationals pitching staff have been unable to do: Get Giancarlo Stanton out.”

    Can we get one of those big foam hands, only holding up four fingers instead of one?

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 27, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      +4

  5. Doc - May 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Uh, kinda think it will take more than Frandsen ihitting and Espi on the bench, to change the offensive production.

    Like to see the Buffalo smack his first HR.

    • snerdblurter - May 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Good call. Based on the swings hes been taking, he’s gotta be about due.

  6. dcwx61 - May 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Frandsen vs RH in 2014 .245/333/376
    Espinosa vs RH in 2014 196/256/336

    The OBPs win it

  7. texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    I was just looking through fangraphs, and man they do not like the Nats defensively. They have Espi with negative runs saved. Span at 0 runs saved and a negative UZR.

    Am I reading these stats wrong or what?

    • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      That does seem very strange…

      • dcwx61 - May 27, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        UZR is flawed…Use Your Eyes (UYE) is better

      • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Yep, and the seem to like Rendon better as a 2B than a 3B? Surprising to say the least.

      • bowdenball - May 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        UZR and UYE agree in this case as far as I can remember. I don’t remember Span or Espi making all that many exceptional plays this year, certainly no more than the average major league 2B or CF. They are definitely above-average when it comes to talent level, but they haven’t really stood out in 2014. They’ve made a bunch of nice plays, but all major league 2Bs and CFs make a lot of nice plays, if they didn’t they wouldn’t be playing those positions.

      • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        This is my understanding of DRS:

        * For a play that’s made, add 1 point minus the percent of players at that position that are likely to make the same play.
        For a play that’s botched, subtract the number of players at that position that are likely to make that play.

        So, 10% of players are likely to make Play A
        70% of players are likely to make Play B.

        Player makes play A: + .90
        Player botches play B: – .70

        Player’s total DRS: + .2

        If that’s right, it makes no sense to me that Espi is in negative territory. Where are you seeing the actual calculations, texnat1?

      • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        n/m, I found it.

        Desi’s at -6…I don’t see how on earth Espi is -2 given the distance between the 2 as far as errors. Although, I didn’t realize Espi has 4 error already this season…oof.

      • Hiram Hover - May 27, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        The folks who designed UZR think it needs more than a year’s worth of data–maybe 2 years–to provide an accurate estimate of true talent level.

        So there’s really not much pt nitpicking it based on only 1/4 season worth of data.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fangraphs-uzr-primer/#12

      • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        HH, Span is a mediocre hitter over his career. I mean would anyone really argue the contrary?

        He doesn’t hit for power and he doesn’t get on base at a particularly impressive clip.

      • Hiram Hover - May 27, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        texnat

        You’re right – Span is not an impressive hitter over his career.

        But for better or worse (ok, worse) he’s one of the better hitters on this team right now–so why would you say a thing like he “should be benched sooner rather than later”?

        And let’s be clear that he is a better than average defender at one of the toughest positions on the field. Since 2011, Span ranks 15 of 40 qualifying CFers in defense, based on DRS or UZR (and 3+ years worth of data is a robust sample size).

      • 6ID20 - May 27, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        The problem with Fangraphs and all the SABR stats for that matter is that just because you can take some bogus numbers and run them through an equally bogus formula, it doesn’t make them mean anything.

    • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Well the conventional wisdom amongst Nats fans is that Span is an excellent defensive center fielder, who doesn’t make spectacular plays simply because he takes such clean lines that he doesn’t need to.

      If this is not the case, and his only a decent fielder, then he should be benched sooner rather than later because he is obviously a mediocre hitter.

      Perhaps this explains why RZim is taking fly balls. BTW, fangraphs liked Harp as a center fielder.

      • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Eric, I am just reading the fangraphs page for each player. Can’t speak to the calculation.

      • Hiram Hover - May 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        he is obviously a mediocre hitter.

        Obviously, you mean, in the sense that he is the second best hitter on this team over the past 2 weeks?

    • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      HH, assuming that you are able to find this post in the labyrinth that is wordpress:

      I didn’t mean bench him now–not even a real option with the injuries. I just mean that IF you buy into what UZR is selling, you should look hard at putting Harper there when he gets back (assuming RZim can play outfield or someone else is hitting–is not, then even that is not an option).

      But I’m not agreeing that UZR is even correct about him. I am just questioning why he was so low and pointing out that if he really is an average-ish fielder, it doesn’t make much sense to keep him around—especially when Harper actually graded out well in CF.

      • Hiram Hover - May 27, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        textnat

        I am getting lost in the maze here as well.

        The decision with Span is not going to be whether to bench him – it’s going to be whether to pick up his option at the end of this season ($9M).

        As to whether Harper takes over if/when Span leaves – those CF stats you’re citing are for less than 1/2 a season in 2012. That’s not a lot of data, and tho it was good, it wasn’t enough to keep the Nats brain trust from going out and getting Span to play that position.

        So whether they would put Harper there in 2015, I dunno. But I think those are conversations for the off-season.

      • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        Isn’t Goodwin tearing it up?

      • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        I mean Michael Taylor

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      I’ve been commenting on Span’s numbers for 2 weeks. He went from 9th in UZR to near last.

      Take that for what it is. He catches everything in Nats Park and seems to have some issues in road parks.

      Guess we can debate that further.

  8. David Proctor - May 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 1m
    Today’s explanation from Williams of possibility of Zimmerman in LF: “I can’t say he won’t. I can’t say that’s the main plan, either.”

    • stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from Matt. So informative.

  9. masterfishkeeper - May 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    I’d switch Frandsen and McLouth, just to break up the left and right handed bats better, plus I think McLouth is starting to hit a little better.

  10. secretwasianman - May 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Hey Tieren walk Stanton every time.

    • Candide - May 27, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      +1

      That should have been the plan in Pittsburgh, against McCutcheon. If a team has one player who can beat you single-handedly, why let him do it?

      • Candide - May 27, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Speaking of which – the Rangers are in town later this week. Here’s Shin-Soo Choo’s career line against our pitchers:

        AB 75
        H 23
        2B 9
        3B 0
        HR 3
        RBI 8
        BB 6
        SO 15
        BA .307
        OBP .376
        SLG .547
        OPS .923

        If the Nats are smart, Choo will double his walk total this week.

      • David Proctor - May 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        Treinan hit McCutchen with 2 outs and the bases loaded. I’m almost certain he didn’t mean to, but it ended up being a pretty good play. If McCutchen gets a hit, it’s AT LEAST 2 runs, maybe 3 and possibly 4.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 27, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        Jim Palmer, HOF, never gave up a grand slam. Ever. He said there’s *always* a base open, even if it’s home.

    • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Nah….just don’t throw him any cement mixers today.

  11. jd - May 27, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I don’t know if anyone caught it but in one of his at bats Ramos hit a ground ball right at an infielder and half way to 1st base he made a right turn and jogged to the bench. I don’t have a problem with it because either way he was out by 100 miles but it makes you wander why MW had to make such a public humiliation of Harper for exactly the same kind of play.

    • texnat1 - May 27, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      It’s a question worth asking, but the stated rationale for the rule MW was enforcing was the transfer thing. Now that that is gone, perhaps it is no longer a rule on the team.

    • stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      A couple of us commented on it at the time, and yeah… it was EXACTLY the same as Harper’s AB.

    • rmoore446 - May 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      I noticed the same thing. I seem to recall another peel-off (but forget the player) awhile back that did not result in a dressing down. Hmmm…it does make me wonder if the public benching was more to take Harper down a peg or two rather than simply enforcing a cardinal rule.

      • stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        more to take Harper down a peg or two rather than simply enforcing a cardinal rule

        That was my strong but unsupported suspicion at the time. Seems even clearer to me since.

    • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      We don’t need another pulled hammy. Ramos gets a pass.

    • 6ID20 - May 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      Two reasons: (1) Harper was already on notice for that infraction from last season. Ask Randy Knorr about that. (2) Harper failed to run out the grounder on the day after Matt Williams told them in a team meeting that all he wanted was for them to run 90 feet.

  12. veejh - May 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    We’re only missing 2 bats. Scoring shouldn’t be this much of an issue.

    • adcwonk - May 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Well, except that it’s taking Ramos and ALR a bit of time to get back on track.

      ALR was asked about his timing. He replied, “Just taking two days off hurts my timing. Two weeks . . . ?”

      • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        ALR is already back on track. Span, Ramos, Rendon, and Werth need to get their head out their azzes and hit some baseballs. Dez is coming around.

      • adcwonk - May 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        Slumps happen. Even to guys like Werth (who’s been the victim of incredible bad BABIP luck) and Rendon. That doesn’t mean their heads are up their . . . . .

      • knoxvillenat - May 27, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        LaRoche has been back for two games, has two hits one of which is a HR and two RBI’s. Why would you say it is taking time for him to “get back on track”?

      • adcwonk - May 27, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        I’m just repeating what ALR said. Don’t blame the messenger!

  13. dcwx61 - May 27, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Raining heavily here in Takoma Park

    • stoatva - May 27, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Just picked up considerably in Arlington.

    • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      Absolutely torrential here in Hyattsville a few minutes ago…fingers crossed the can go tonight.

    • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      78°and sunny here in CA.

      • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        Lol

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        Raining in Oregon, but that’s not exactly news.

  14. NatsLady - May 27, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    As some of you know, I write for a site that reports sports injuries. We have an orthopedist on staff, so I asked him about the recovery from an injury like Ramos’.

    Hamate injuries – First off, just to back up a step and keep with the plans mentioned earlier, the hamate is one of the wrist bones. It is located on the ulnar (pinky side), of the wrist. It is common to fracture this in baseball, from repetitive swinging as well as any other sport with repetitive impact to the palm. Players who fracture their hamate, (also seen as a fractured hook of the hamate), will have decreased grip strength and pain overlying the bone. Again the tender area will be on the “pinky side” of the wrist, below the small digit and ring finger. Surgical options may include fixing them or excising the hook which is broken. It is generally a 4-6 week recovery to then begin activities. I would say roughly 9-12 weeks before complete return of strength and abilities.

  15. NatsLady - May 27, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    I quote that because saying Ramos should take his head out of his Azz–well it’s not that simple.

    • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Yes it is. Along w the others I listed. Time to buck up and hit the ball.

      • NatsLady - May 27, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        You know, I got hit by a motorcycle in 2007. I had what’s called a tibial plateau fracture–and three surgeries, including a knee replacement. I can buck up all I want, but I still can’t run or jump, or bend the knee past 45 degrees.

        My mother, who is in her 80s, had a knee replacement due to normal age and arthritis. She’s fine.

      • veejh - May 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        Everything Ive read about this hamate bone fracture is that it can zap power for a while, not impede the ability to hit, so I dont buy this as an excuse as to why Ramos hasn’t started hitting yet. What’s the excuse for the rest of the lot?

  16. manassasnatsfan - May 27, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Red Sox 1 Braves 0 on to the bottom of 1

    • NatsLady - May 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Twitter says cancelled.

  17. Eric - May 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Oh wow, apparently the game has been called. Doh! Cleaning up brew day supplies just got a lot more boring.

    • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      Er, that’s based on AtBat, which says “PPD”, not just “Delay”

  18. manassasnatsfan - May 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    MASN says postpone no make up date announced.

    Talk about a fast trigger. $35 spent for parking and calling game 7 minutes after start wouldn’t sit well with me.

    Now waiting to see if Treinan or Zim starts tomorrow.

    • David Proctor - May 27, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      They are notorious for long rain delays without postponing, but perhaps given the injuries they decided to do it and play the game when healthy.

      • Eric - May 27, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        Per the most recent post, it was officially postponed at 7:12. Can they decide to play the “make up game” the same say as the postponement?

  19. manassasnatsfan - May 27, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Carpenter said they would report in 30 minutes. I am back and he isn’t

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 27, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Just got back from game… It’s a mess out there… Oh well, go Boston…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 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.

Follow us on Twitter