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Game 56: Phillies at Nats

Jun 3, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

I think it’s safe to say plenty of people — myself included — predicted Ryan Zimmerman would one day play something other than third base for the Nationals. I think it’s also safe to say very few people — if any — prior to about two weeks ago would have predicted Zimmerman’s first start at anything other than third base would come in left field. (Yes, I am well aware he played one game at shortstop in Sept. 2005. I covered that game. I choose to forget about it for narrative purposes.)

So here we are, with Zimmerman officially activated after 7 1/2 weeks on the DL and starting in left field after playing 21 innings there the last three days at Class A Potomac. How this will play out is anyone’s guess. Common sense says Zim should be able to handle all the routine plays out there. But what happens when there’s a more-complicated play? Or when he has to throw the ball? We’ll see.

Defensive position aside, the real significance of Zimmerman’s return is the domino effect it has on the Nationals’ lineup. Not only is he plugged right into the heart of that lineup, batting fifth behind Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche, but he allows other guys to move a slot down the order. So all of a sudden, the red-hot Ian Desmond is hitting seventh. That’s not a bad-looking lineup.

Updates to come from what should be an eventful night at the ballpark…

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (27-28)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Ryan Zimmerman
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

PHILLIES (24-31)
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
RF Marlon Byrd
1B Ryan Howard
C Carlos Ruiz
LF Domonic Brown
3B Reid Brignac
CF Ben Revere
RHP David Buchanan

UMPIRES
HP Mike Everitt
1B Ed Hickox
2B Ron Kupla (cc)
3B John Tumpane

7:06 p.m. — And we’re underway. Jordan Zimmermann gets Jimmy Rollins to line out to second base as Ryan Zimmerman watches from about 275 feet away. Zim got a nice ovation from the crowd when his name was announced over the PA system. Gotta say, it’s pretty strange seeing him out there.

7:11 p.m. — And Zimmermann mows down the Phillies in order in the top of the first. He got Rollins to line out, got Chase Utley to ground out to first (with Adam LaRoche making a nifty scoop over there) and then struck out Marlon Byrd. So the ball never came within 250 feet of Zimmerman in left field.

7:16 p.m. — David Buchanan tosses his own 1-2-3 first, getting groundballs to the right side of the infield by both Denard Span and Anthony Rendon. Jayson Werth gave one a ride, sending the ball deep to center field. But it died just at the front of the warning track, so we’re scoreless after one inning here.

7:34 p.m. — A standing ovation from many in the crowd as “the left fielder, No. 11, Ryan Zimmerman” stepped to the plate for the first time since April 12. And then everybody roared when Zim smoked the second pitch he saw down the left-field line for a stand-up double. His swing sure looked good there. Unfortunately, the Nats couldn’t advance him any farther. So it remains scoreless after two innings.

7:41 p.m. — Weird moment in the top of the third. LaRoche and Zimmermann were really slow on an attempted 3-1 grounder, and Buchanan wound up beating it out for his first career hit. Or so he thought. Matt Williams came out to challenge the call, and though it was mighty close, the umps in New York indeed overturned it. So after all that, Zimmermann has three scoreless innings in the books, having retired 9-of-10 batters faced. Nothing has even come close to Zim in left field.

8:01 p.m. — Is there any situation you’d rather have than the bases loaded for Jayson Werth, facing a 3-0 count? I think not. He just added to his resume by drilling a 3-0 offering from Buchanan to deep left-center, skipping the ball over the fence for a ground-rule double. Werth’s updated career numbers on 3-0 counts now: 12-for-18, two doubles, three homers, 16 RBI. Not bad. Not bad at all. LaRoche added another run with an RBI groundout, so the Nats have taken a 3-0 lead after three innings.

8:07 p.m. — Hey, there it is: Zimmerman’s first career defensive chance in left field. Chase Utley sent a sinking liner to shallow left, and Zim came charging in to make a nice play. Not the hardest play in the world, but not routine either. Nicely done. Four scoreless for Zimmermann now.

8:24 p.m. — Five scoreless for Zimmermann, who hasn’t looked this good in weeks. Oh, we also had a proposal on the jumbotron here. I’m told it costs $1,500 to do that! I mean, seriously. Use that $1,500 to buy a nicer ring, dude!

8:38 p.m. — So, the Phillies decided to intentionally walk LaRoche and bring Zimmerman to the plate with two on and two out in the fifth? Did Ryne Sandberg not see Zim’s first at-bat of the night? Apparently not, because Zimmerman proceeded to send an RBI double into the right-field corner. It’s 4-0 Nats, and Zim is now 2-for-3 with two doubles tonight.

8:46 p.m. — Zimmerman’s second career chance in left field came in the top of the sixth on a high flyball to shallow left. Made the catch nice and easy. A real can o’ corn. Still 4-0 Nats, heading to the bottom of the sixth.

8:59 p.m. — Now the Nats are really pouring it on. Desmond launched his 11th homer of the season to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Rendon then added a 2-run blast to right-center. It’s 7-0 tonight, and over their last 19 offensive innings against anybody not named Yu Darvish, the Nats have scored 26 runs. Wow.

9:17 p.m. — It’s Chase here taking over for Mark as he writes his game story. Zimmermann tossed another clean frame in the top of the seventh and now sits at 89 pitches on the night. The Nationals then got two baserunners in the bottom half of the frame – Ramos reach on an E6 throwing error and Desmond walked – but no runs. It’s still 7-0 with the eighth up next.

9:36 p.m. — The eighth inning saw no new runs for either team, but it did see both Zimmerman(n)s removed from the game. Ryan Zimmerman was taken out for Nate McLouth as a defensive replacement to begin the top of the inning, likely because the game is already in hand. Zimmermann was then pinch-hit for in the bottom half of the inning for Kevin Frandsen who will remain in the field in left. McLouth will shift to center to give Span the rest of the night off.

9:50 p.m. — Clippard kept the game at 7-0 in the ninth, Nats win. Washington is back to .500 (28-28) on the year.

140 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mwsmith13 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Radar looks fairly clear at the moment.
    Looking forward to having Zimmerman back in the line-up. Going to be a little weird watching him jog into the outfield, but I can already picture him digging himself into an 0-2 hole in his first at bat :)

  2. natsguy - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Not a bad looking lineup excepting #8 who shall not be named in order not to upset Eric.

    • Eric - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      You really do seem to go to great lengths to avoid drawing my attention to your posts. I’m…not quite sure what to make of it, but I hope it’s fun for you!

  3. Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    “Red hot” Ian Desmond is a bit generous.

    Over the last 2 weeks, Ian is slashing .179/.319/.410, with 7 hits and 14 Ks. Fortunately, 3 of those 7 hits here HRs.

    Over the last 7 days, he’s 1 for 17 with 6 Ks and only 1 hit–again, fortunately it was a HR.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      “Fortunately, 3 of those 7 hits here HRs.”

      That might actually be the main problem. Desi seems to have caught the Espinosa cave man syndrome, but I didn’t realize he had been that bad.

      • therealjohnc - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        If his OBP is .319 and he’s hitting 1.5 HRs a week, I don’t care what Desmond’s facial hair status is.

  4. snerdblurter - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    1,000% chance that a ball finds him in the top of the first.

    Nice to see a full, professional lineup. I’d almost forgotten what one looked like.

    SHYFNSH! (Stay healthy you freakin’ Nats, Stay Healthy!)

    • sunshinebobby - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      +1 on the SHYFNSH!
      -1 on the top of the first prediction.

      But somewhere, someday, something weird is going to happen to Zim out there…

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I suppose this goes without saying, but all y’all who are going to the game need to give our new left-fielder a nice, big welcome (back). :-)

    • snerdblurter - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Second that. Get there early too if you can!

      I’ll be hollering for him as loud as I can out here in CA. Can’t wait to see him next week in SF.

  6. Danny - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    If Espinosa is in it, it’s still a bad lineup.

    • bowdenball - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      You people play too much fantasy baseball and video games. Weak hitting plus defenders in the 8 spot are the norm, not the exception. The 2013 National League Champion St Louis Cardinals gave 800+ plate appearances to Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso.

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

    If only Espi could hit, this lineup would be very imposing. Oh well.

    Good luck to Ryan. I hope he proves me wrong and plays the position like a Gold Glover.

    • jd - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      In 2012 when we won 98 games Michael Morse played left field. Do you seriously think Zim will be worse in LF than Michael Morse?

      • Section 222 - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        jd, I have no worries that Zim can cover a reasonable amount of ground or catch the ball. But Morse had a very decent arm. Zim does not, and it’s not just weak, it’s erratic. That’s what worries me. I am fully prepared to be proved wrong, but so far, no one has reported anything to reassure me that when a reasonably fast runner bloops or lines a basehit down the line or in the gap he’ll have even a prayer of preventing that guy from getting a double. And that’s just the start of the potential disasters that could befall us.

        Furthermore, I just really don’t understand the desire to keep Espi in the lineup. McLouth is a good outfielder and is hitting better than Espi. I would leave him (platooning with Frandsen) there to keep getting better until Harper returns.

        Finally, I would ask you, what’s your plan when Harper gets back? Or are you in the bench Span corner?

      • therealjohnc - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        The Cardinals won a World Series with Matt Holliday “playing” LF. Matt Holliday stinks in the OF. Minimal competence from Zimmerman is fine.

      • secretwasianman - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        Do you honestly think Zimm can hit better than morse?

      • jd - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        1) I don’t think Zim’s arm is weak. It’s been erratic on throws across the diamond but I don’t think he’l have a problem throwing it in from LF.

        2) I don’t know what will happen when Harper returns, it’s a very intriguing question. I doubt Span sits. I don’t think Harper returns to CF, not when 2 of our best prospects are CF’s.

      • unkyd59 - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        SWM…. Yes. Of course. Duh.

  8. chaz11963 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    It really is a strong lineup. I just hate seeing Desi and Espi together in the order.

  9. knoxvillenat - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Like NatsJack I’m not too excited seeing Desmond and Espinosa hitting back to back in this lineup. Maybe switch Desi and Ramos as you can’t move Espi out of the 8 hole except to hit last.

    • Eric - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      I hope the Desi > Espi hole doesn’t grow so wide that it threatens the ground under Ramos…

  10. jd - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    You know what. 3 weeks ago the lineup was something like: Span,Rendon,Werth,Desi,moore,Espi, Lobaton and Mc.Louth.

    I’ll take tonight’s lineup.

  11. laddieblahblah - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    The best to both Ryan and Tyler Moore.

    Who goes when Harper comes back next month? It won’t be Lobaton. That leaves Frandsen, Hairston, McClouth, Espinosa, and Dobbs. I know what I would do, but it’s not my call.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      A lot can happen in a month, but — most importantly — the powers that be will be watching how Ryan Zimmerman adapts to LF (which I don’t expect to be a problem) and how it appears his arm would do from 3B.

      • jd - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Eugene,

        The question is also: what if he does real well in LF? are you benching Span? I don’t think so. I think all things being equal Zim will move back to the infield although I am not sure how that works either.

      • 6ID20 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        He’ll be playing 3b again before Harper gets back. Not full time, but enough to see how he does there.

    • jd - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Laddie,

      Barring injury I think it’s Dobbs.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        That could very well be.

        Espi is still the only guy they have to plug in behind Desi, otherwise I think it might be him. Hagerstown has a dynamo of a 2nd baseman, Wilmer Difo, who made the Sally League All-Star team, but its still just the Sally League. I would much rather see Danny on the bench behind Frandsen than on the field and in the lineup. Regardless, the Nats pretty much have to keep him on the 25-man roster until and unless they find another backup for Desi at SS.

    • chaz11963 - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Very good question. If all remain healthy and Zim adapts to LF, I definitely don’t see them DFAing McLouth or Frandsen. Most likely Dobbs, I would think. Hairston’s been hitting well off the bench and with pop.

  12. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Chase Hughes ‏@chasehughesCSN 6m
    Denard Span said he’s not worried about Zimmerman because he’s played with some ‘bad outfielders before.’ #Nats

    Span’s got jokes.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      OMG, that’s hilarious.

  13. nats106 - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    First bad throw you’ll hear me calling to put Hairston out there. (haha)

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Put Hairston’s shoulder on Zim

  14. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 2m
    Roundly repeated in the Nats clubhouse: admiration for how easy Ryan Zimmerman has made this situation. Total star being a total pro.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Certainly seems that way from outside too – a total pro.

      • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Maybe he’s just trying to save his job.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        What does that mean, tho, “save his job”?

        They can’t really fire him–or they can, but they’re still on the hook for ~$90M.

        He’s the one with the leverage here, and he could certainly choose to use it by dragging his heels, fighting the change, sulking and saying snotty things in public.

      • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        He’s on the verge of becoming a $10M bench player. I doubt he wants that, nor does the organization. I have a feeling this ends badly for the face of our franchise since 2005. He’s got to be traded to an AL team willing to take on that salary as a DH.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        He’s on the verge of becoming a $10M bench player.

        Really?

      • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        What happens when Harper returns, and the Zim LF experiment fails? So yes, on the verge.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        I’m not sure we’re watching the same team.

        It’s pretty clear that on the Nats I’m watching, Zim is not going to the bench. In fact, they’re moving mountains to keep him in the line up.

        As for trading him – I’ll leave that to the fantasy GMs, but again, in the real world, a “decent hitting 2B” is not what this offensively challenged team needs.

  15. tcostant - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Seems like just yesterday that all the Philly fans were booing Zimm on Opening Day as he got his Silver Slugger Award for being the best 3B in the league.

  16. veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Anyone in the AL need a solid DH for a decent fielding and hitting 2nd basemen, we’ll throwing an excellent fielding 2nd baseman to boot.

    • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      *throw in

    • therealjohnc - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      Who is the DH you are looking to trade?

      • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Ryan Zimmerman

  17. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP now
    Ryan Zimmerman recalled Adam Dunn’s baseball/life philosophy: “Drive in more than I let in.”

  18. thelatencn - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Deuces, I agree with your post of 4:17 in that I’d rather have McLouth in the lineup instead of Espinosa. But if you do that, it means you’re playing Zimmerman at 3rd base, where his arm is surely a greater liability than it is in LF, don’t you agree?

    • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Pick your poison.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Exactly. But you can pick your poison smartly. And I think (or hope, at least) that the Nats have run the numbers and concluded that the number of potential runs lost in LF is less than the number of potential runs lost at 3B, and — at the same time — that the number of potential runs gained with Ryan Zimmerman in the line-up offensively is greater than those same runs potentially lost (defensively) with him in LF.

    • Section 222 - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      I’m not sure it’s a greater liability, and I’m a guy who was complaining about his arm long before it became conventional wisdom. It sounds like we’re about to get a first hand view of just how bad it can be to have a guy with an erratic arm in LF. He’s been playing 3B all his life, so I think we’d muddle through.

      I’d have a completely different attitude about this if Espi could hit. There’s no doubt our infield defense is better with him at 2B and Rendon at 3B. But he can’t.

      • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        If Espi could hit, there would be no problem, except for Zim, of course.

      • thelatencn - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        I don’t know. Remember, with him at 3rd, even the routine plays are problematic, whereas in LF, its only the occasional situation where it comes into play.

      • letswin3 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        Frandsen’s numbers are respectable (something like 245 and an obp of 289), and he’s made some great plays at second. Just sit Danny.

      • 6ID20 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        A good arm in LF is nice, but in no way essential. How much of a difference has Harper’s great arm in LF made? Zim will be fine out there.

  19. natsguy - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    If RZIM can still hit with average and power I would much rather have him in LF than the infield. He is still a good athlete and will learn to play the outfield. I think that would even be preferable to 1B. Opens up other cans of worms. CF, 2B, 1B.

    • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      There’s a high probability, imo, that this experiment fails.

  20. secretwasianman - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    This not about Zimm. This is about beating up on a bad team and getting our season back. OR NOT

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Back! Away! Away, you carrion fowl!

  21. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t need to DH and he doesn’t need to be traded. Jeez, some overreactions. If worst comes to worst, he can play first base. He’s a better hitter than LaRoche, 2014 notwithstanding. He can still pick it with the best of them and he could at first base, too. Plus, it’s not like every single throw is wild. Over 90% of his throws are on target . 90% isn’t good enough, but if you reduce the number of throws (from LF, 1B or wherever), you run into fewer chances for him to throw it away.

    • veejh - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      For now…eventually push will come to shove and the negatives will outweigh the positives. The reason we are bending over backwards is because of that salary. In the end, we’ll eat a ton of that and he’ll be a DH on some AL team. That’s where I see Zim fitting in for the remainder of his career. Call me a pessimist, I think I’m practical. Baseball is a ruthless business, don’t forget.

      • David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        Give me a reason why Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t play 1B. So he botches the 3-6-3 once every 10 times he does it. There are like, what, 10 3-6-3 double plays a season? Come on.

      • letswin3 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Yep, David, that’s where I see him next season too (at first) ….. if Rizzo can’t find a trade next winter to send Zim to an AL team and then move Werth to first instead. That kind of move might extend Werths career by 3 or 4 years.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        Call me a pessimist…

        You’re a pessimist.

        Big time.

    • Eric - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      +1 DP

  22. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    GYFNG

  23. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Okay, so I taught my last class of the term today and finally had a chance to look up some numbers. Here goes:

    In 2006, 2007, and 2009, Ryan Zimmerman played virtually every Nats game at 3B. In those three years, he averaged:

    466 ‘chances';
    136 ‘put outs'; and
    311 ‘assists’ (most of which would have been throws to first).

    In those same years, the Nats had Alfonso Soriano playing LF for 158 games in 2006, but multiple players in the position in 2007 and 2009. They averaged:

    348 ‘chances’ (as best I can tell, this doesn’t include routinely fielding balls that are ruled hits);
    329 ‘put outs'; and
    11 ‘assists’ (Mr. Soriano had 22 in 2006, the combined LFs had 5 each in 2007 and 2009).

    Now, of course, those numbers don’t tell the whole story (e.g., range factors, ultimate zones). But they do suggest that a 3B is going to be expected to throw to first roughly twice a game, while the LF is going to be expected to catch a fly ball roughly twice a game. And while there were obviously more attempts by left-fielders to throw out a runner than are captured by the number of successful assists, my assumption is that that number pales in comparison to the number (and significance) of a 3B’s throws to 1B.

  24. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Remember win every series

  25. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Look, this experiment may lead in a variety of directions but it isn’t going to fail. Don’t talk about the Nats “moving mountains” for Zimmerman. Zimmerman is moving mountains for the team. They wouldn’t be even thinking about this if — notwithstanding all of the people forecasting different degrees of ridicule — Zimmerman wasn’t totally on board, even enthusiastic about the move. Dunn mots aside, I’m guessing Zimmerman expects to be pretty good at this LF stuff. And that he will be. This is the warmest feeling I’ve had about him as Zimmerman, Team Guy, in a long time. Folks who want to speculate on who’s going to be sold to the Nankei Haws after the All-Star Break might give some thought to what might happen at the end of the season if The Brain Trust decides the best lineup they can put on the field is Zimmerman/Harper/Werth-Spann in the OF and LaRoche at 1B.

    • David Proctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      +1

    • Eric - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      +1

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      +1 on Zimmerman’s attitude and cooperation.

      Btw, since I was the one who said “moving mountains” above–I didn’t say “moving mountains for Zimm”–I said moving mountains to put him in the lineup, as the team desperately needs his bat. The Nats are obviously doing it for the Nats, not for Zim.

      I’ll grant that “moving mountains” is an exaggeration, but they are moving him into a heck of a traffic jam given the # of LF options they already have (and that’s with Harp still on the DL).

      Zimm’s willingness to go along is a real credit it to him–that was my initial comment above, which brought out the D+G fantasy GM who wants to trade/bench Zimm.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      span is too good an outfielder and provides some much needed speed in the lineup…Zimm will move back to IF when/if the time comes….but that time is at least a month away. A lot can happen (eg: injury) between now and then.

  26. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    OK boys let’s score

  27. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Zim’s hit looked like the one that Ian hit on opening day. This fielder fielded.

  28. adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    He’s on the verge of becoming a $10M bench player.

    I guess not quite yet, eh?

  29. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    RISP time

  30. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    What is that all about. Zim pokes over to first.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Even though he was out, zim really misplayed the play.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        luckily — lesson learned without damage

  31. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Espi stays above the Mendoza line.

  32. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    RISP time part 2

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      Mixed bag. Got the hit, but slow break by Espi, probably looked closer to Utley than it was.

  33. adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Gotta love it when Werth swings on 3-0!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      His success on 3-0 better than most.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        Uhh, yeah. He’s now 12-for-18 lifetime (.667) if I’m reading it right . . .

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        That seems high.

  34. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Nice one Werth

  35. Eric - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Nice read on a slightly above routine fly there Zim. He looks pretty comfy on both O and D so far!

  36. Danny - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Go Zimmermann’s

    • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      Or is it: Go Zimmerman’n’s

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        Zimmerman(n)s

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        +1

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Zimmersmen

  37. adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Espi — two for two going to the opposite field

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Everyone’s aver would rise at least 50 points if you hit outside pitches the opposite way.

      Glad to see a couple from Espi.

      Pull inside go other way outside. Great strategy not used enough

  38. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Nice bunt for Span

  39. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    The power of now….enjoy this amazin, amazin lineup while it lasts

  40. adcwonk - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Yeah . . . I think getting our opening day starting lineup back in place is going to help the Nats ;-)

  41. Danny - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Zims bat is so key

  42. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    What a bat….I hope Rizzo doesn’t heed earlier advice to move Nats to AL so Zimm can DH

  43. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Walk Adam…. To get to Ryan….

    Thank ye kindly!!!!

  44. Danny - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    OT: the Rays a trendy WS pick are 23-35 wow.

  45. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Come on zim get back in the zone.

  46. unkyd59 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    So… Who’s the new 2B…with the BAT?!

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      IAN amongst the leaders in homers.

  47. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    One more keep low on outside

  48. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    Bird pulled it on one more in the middle then out, but generally where I wanted.

  49. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Mariners have made a nice come back.

  50. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    from mlb trade rumors if you haven’t discussed already

    Ryan Zimmerman projects to play first base for the Nationals next season, but Rosenthal asks what might happen if Washington instead decides to keep Adam LaRoche. Doing so could push Zimmerman to left field full-time, with Bryce Harper manning center field, Jayson Werth in right field and Denard Span becoming a trade chip. Span has a $9MM club option and a “limited”future with the club given the presence of Michael Taylor (not to be confused with the former A’s prospect of the same name) at Double-A, writes Rosenthal.

  51. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Ian’s BAPIP (are the right letters? ) is fairly high I think.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      It’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play)

      He’s actually low on the season – .career, he is at 320, and only .271 on the season, and .182 the last 14 days.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        Thanks. My memory must have failed me.

  52. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Espi go to left

  53. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Great at bat span….

  54. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Span en fuego!

  55. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Buchanan’s arm is going to be hanging by a well worn piece of Double-Bubble before this is over.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      lol

  56. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Aight Mr Rendon…. I see you!

  57. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Harper must be missing this.

  58. scnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Is it me or does anyone else get a little more joy kicking the phillies when they are down?

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      I feel like bustin loose….played a coule times tonight.
      But the phils looking like a aaaa team with the worn out pitching after their weekend series

  59. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    So you are the manager, assuming all are healthy by the ASG (yeah big assumption)…Who bats 8th ? Ramos/Desmond really ?? wow

  60. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Tonight’s SWM (Single Worst Memorable) comment

    Referring to the Zimm with one N:
    “He’s on the verge of becoming a $10M bench player.”

    Congratulations and keep on posting for your chance to win the coveted BP award (Best Prediction).

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      Silly me I thought “SWM” stood for “Secretwaisanman”, someone I don’t really care to hear from.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        There is some connection as the real SWM has made some unfortunate pre game analyses

  61. Danny - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Tries to pull two outside corner pitches arg.

  62. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    One possible fantasy concern I have with MW, is he pushes his starters too long…esp with the best BP in MLB. It’s a long season, don’t want to wear em down too early.

  63. knoxvillenat - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Has Ghost taken the night off?

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      I think he’s on a date with Mrs. B….Don;t tell Roger

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:29 PM

        Ghost and Mrs. B………bet that is quite a couple.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Very clever….I’m old enough to remember that TV show… Not the movie, however

  64. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Clip let’s make this smooth.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Let’s not be silly he is Clip

  65. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    5 of the last 6 batters have made base.

  66. dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Rust never sleeps, Tyler

  67. secretwasianman - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Braves losing now. Let’s end this thing. NOW

  68. unkyd59 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Shutout. Crooked number…

    Nice.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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

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

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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