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Game 57: Phillies at Nats

Jun 4, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

And so we officially move beyond Ryan Zimmerman Left Field Debut Day and into Ryan Zimmerman Regular Left Fielder Month. After last night’s successful return following 7 1/2 weeks on the DL, Zim is right back out there again, batting fifth and again starting in left field. Will he actually be tested defensively tonight? We shall see.

Between Zimmerman’s return, Adam LaRoche’s return, Ian Desmond’s power and the resurgence of Denard Span and Anthony Rendon, the Nationals’ lineup has suddenly become quite potent. They’ve hit .313 with and .856 OPS over their last five games, and that stretch even includes their shutout loss to Yu Darvish on Sunday. Tonight they’ll take their hacks against veteran A.J. Burnett.

Stephen Strasburg, meanwhile, is on the mound looking for another strong performance against the Phillies. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 21 innings against them, dating back over three starts.

If you’re coming to the game, bring your umbrella and raincoat. Storms are due to arrive sometime in the 8-9 p.m. range, so there’s a very good chance weather will affect this game in some capacity…

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
 Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185, MLB.com
Weather: Storms approaching, 84 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (28-28)
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 Stephen Strasburg

PHILLIES (24-32)
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 A.J. Burnett

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

7:08 p.m. — We are underway with a bunt foul by Jimmy Rollins off a Stephen Strasburg fastball. The skies have darkened considerably, the temperature has dropped and rain is headed this way. But it’s not here yet, so for now … play ball!

7:16 p.m. — It’s a 1-2-3 top of the first for Strasburg, though it took 18 pitches and included a brief delay when Rollins and Ryne Sandberg tried to argue the Phillies leadoff man foul-tipped a change-up from Strasburg and shouldn’t have been called out on strikes. Plate umpire Ed Hickox had Strasburg toss him the ball to examine it for any bat markings and apparently couldn’t find any, so the strikeout stood.

7:29 p.m. — The Nats had something going in the bottom of the first against A.J. Burnett, with Anthony Rendon singling and Adam LaRoche drawing a two-out walk. That brought Ryan Zimmerman to the plate to another big ovation. But Burnett was given the outside corner on an 0-2 fastball, so that rally was quickly quashed. Scoreless after one.

7:39 p.m. — A bit of a jam for Strasburg in the top of the second, with men on the corners and two out. But he got Ben Revere to rap a grounder up the middle, and Ian Desmond made a nice play on the ball, then stepping on second for the third out of the inning. Strasburg is at 32 pitches through two scoreless innings.

7:52 p.m. — Three scoreless innings for Strasburg, who has four strikeouts so far, giving him 94 for the season, now tops in the NL. He’s at 42 pitches overall. Oh, and there hasn’t been anything hit to Zimmerman in left field yet.

8:02 p.m. — Another nice piece of hitting by Denard Span in the bottom of the third. He poked a ball down the left-field line, another opposite-field hit for him, and hustled his way to a double. Span is now hitting a stout .391 since May 19. Incredibly, he has raised his batting average 47 points — all the way up to .283 — in 13-plus games. The Nats, though, couldn’t bring him home just now, so this remains a scoreless game through three.

8:10 p.m. — Man, does Strasburg look sharp tonight or what? His changeup has just been filthy, producing four of his six strikeouts through four scoreless innings. That gives Strasburg 96 K’s on the season, most in the majors. Rendon, meanwhile, made an absolutely spectacular play on a hot smash to his right, diving to snag the ball and then firing to first for the final out of the fourth inning. Zimmerman had a nice view of it all from his perch in left field. Still 0-0 here, heading to the bottom of the fourth.

8:29 p.m. — OK, here’s the situation: Bases loaded, one out in the bottom of the fourth, Espinosa at the plate. If ever he was going to shorten his swing and just try to put the ball in play, this was it. Or, you know, he could also launch a 2-run double off the top of the wall in right-center, coming about a foot short of a grand slam. Either or, no real difference, right? Man, what a big hit for Espinosa, giving the Nats the lead. But wait, there was more. Strasburg smoked a base hit up the middle to bring home another run. Then Espinosa (breaking from third) and Span (hustling down the first-base line to prevent a double play) used their speed and instincts to get another run home. It’s 4-0 Nats after four.

8:40 p.m. — And the Phillies get two runs right back in the top of the fifth thanks to three shaky defensive plays. LaRoche was charged with an error when a pickoff throw from Strasburg got away from him. Zimmerman then got his first tough chance in left field when he couldn’t get to Reid Brignac’s drive over his head, then short-hopped the throw back to Desmond, who was way out in shallow left field as the relay man. Then after a diving stop by LaRoche, Strasburg was charged with a tough error when he couldn’t make the running, reaching catch of LaRoche’s throw to first. So after all that, it’s now a 4-2 Nats lead. The good news: This game is official now, in case it starts raining.

8:46 p.m. — And Rendon gets one of the runs right back with a blast to the back of the bullpen in left field. It’s 5-2 Nats as the rain starts falling and this game moves to the sixth.

8:57 p.m. — Make it 10 strikeouts for Strasburg through six innings. He is dialed in tonight.

9:10 p.m. — And the hits keep on coming. Span doubled in a run in the bottom of the sixth. Rendon drove in two more with a single. It’s 8-2, yet A.J. Burnett inexplicably remains in the game for the Phillies. And updating my stat from last night: In their last 27 innings against pitchers NOT named Yu Darvish, the Nats have scored 34 runs. Impressive.

9:27 p.m. — John Mayberry Jr. takes Strasburg deep into the Red Porch, a 2-run shot that makes this an 8-4 game now at the stretch. The rain has really picked up, too, and now the tarp is on the field and both teams have been sent to their clubhouses. They have to wait this out a bit, but they could ultimately just call this game right here and award the Nats the win.

10:27 p.m. — And here’s the announcement: The game will resume at approximately 10:45 p.m.

10:43 p.m. — Well, it’s 10:43 and the tarp is still on the field and nobody has started warming up. So, yeah, this game won’t be resuming in the next 2 minutes.

10:58 p.m. — And now the Nats say this game will resume at approximately 11:15 p.m. At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

11:15 p.m. — And we’re back after a 1-hour, 48-minute delay. Justin DeFratus now pitching for the Phillies. The Nats still lead 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh.

11:26 p.m. — A one-out single from Ramos in the bottom of the seventh, but that’s it as Desmond and Espinosa strike out. So we go to the eighth, and it’s Aaron Barret in from the Nats bullpen with a 4-run lead.

11:33 p.m. — Barrett put two men on in the top of the eighth, but he got Brown to ground out and then struck out Brignac. Still 8-4.

11:42 p.m. — To the ninth we go. It’s Jerry Blevins in to close this one out, the Nats leading by 4.

11:55 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 8-4. They’ve won 4 of 5. They’re back over .500 at 29-28. They’re 1 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.

237 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Get an early lead, shut them down for 5 innings and call the game.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Do you have bad weather in DC?

      • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        It’s supposed to rain around 8 or 9 and be steady through the night.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Maybe they do need that roof ;)

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        40% chance

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    “we officially move beyond Ryan Zimmerman Left Field Debut Day and into Ryan Zimmerman Regular Left Fielder Month.”

    Sounds like you have comes to terms with this after your initial stance that there was nothing to it that Ryan was shagging balls without instruction and he he will never play leftfield.

    I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t Ryan who borrowed Werths glove and pushed this as something he wanted to do rather than the team pushing him to a position change.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Agree.

      Ps: just ordered 80 bucks of pizza at 50% off! Thanks nats50! Kids are stoked

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        That’s awesome! Papajohns and McNuggets for everyone!

      • tcostant - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        That is a lot of pizza!

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I wasn’t on the game thread last night and did anyone discuss how Werth cut in front of Span in shallow center yesterday to catch that ball?

    Span didn’t look overly pleased but wondering if Jayson isn’t waiting for another ball to fall in between them like in Pittsburgh.

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      I don’t recall a lot of discussion about Jayson cutting Span off, maybe a post or two, however there was some mention of your absence and that perhaps you and Mrs. B were a couple or something along those lines. :)

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      I was a bit surprised when that happened too, and I don’t remember any smiles, laughs, or kindly interaction between them afterwards.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        Did anyone smoke a cigarette afterwards?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        MrsB is married! I only mess with the single ones Knox!

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      I wasn’t on the game thread either, but the “Dude, seriously??” look on Span’s face, and the “bite me” look on Werth’s pretty much said it all.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Werth made a point yesterday to Span on that play. Actions speak louder than words and I will give you my take that Span hasn’t been calling for balls so after Pittsburgh right-center play he took this one which was clearly Span’s ball with a clear message “you’re the CF, take charge or I will”.

        Nobody screws with Werth. Mistakes are one thing, but simple fundamentals of communication has to be followed or players get hurt. Just ask Tampa”s CF and injured RF.

      • janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        this is one reason I have come to love Werth. What’ve It Takes. That’s his motto.

  4. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 3m
    Bryce Harper fielded some light grounders yesterday. Matt Williams says no firm timetable for Harper’s return, but hopes he’s back by July 1

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Getting ready for third, i guess….

  5. chaz11963 - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Oddly enough, Burnett has never lost to the Nationals. He did well against us on May 3rd, but then went on to have a terrible May posting a 5.50 ERA. In his last game against the Mets, he K’d 11 and gave up only 5 hits, but had 6 BBs in 7 innings. Burnett has given up a NL worst 37 BBs. On the other hand, Stras does pretty well against the Phoolies.

    • bowdenball - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Burnett used to pitch for the Marlins. He’s 9-3 for his career vs the Nationals.

      • chaz11963 - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        You are right, I was reading Fan Graphs wrong. Need to put my glasses on :-)

  6. thelatencn - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Harper taking grounders!!!! Are they grooming him to become an infielder?

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Outfield grounders. It’s routine.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        That’s right. Nothing to see here. Keep moving …

  7. NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I don’t know if you can read this, but it suggests the Nats’ defense may not be hopeless.

    photo/1

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Interesting – I’d like to see more explanation of how they ranked plays good and bad, and how many plays weren’t ranked either (and thus were presumably routine).

      Most teams only have about 200-230 plays classified as one or the other, or 4 or less per game.

      Note also that errors don’t count as bad plays, which would also send the Nats plummeting.

      • NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        So would I. I asked him for a link, but he said he doesn’t have one, so I don’t know the methodology. But I would assume that errors count as “bad plays,” pretty much automatically unless he overrride the scorer.

      • NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        This is also interesting.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        I clicked on his twit pic and blew up that table–the fine print says “errors counted separately,” which seems weird to me.

      • NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:09 PM
      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        No it says errors count separately on key

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        Interesting. It looks like they could have a good play and a bad play, and maybe even an error, too, on one play. Which is realistic, actually, cuz that does happen, but makes me wonder if a straight ratio is the best way to go in that case.

  8. jd - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Strasburg has pitched very well in May. On the NL leaderboard in many pitching categories.

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      Strasburg has been great since he ditched the slider. That slider was getting hit hard. Great idea in theory, not so much in practice.

  9. NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    18. Washington Nationals: They’ve had good luck with Scott Boras players, and better luck with Tommy John patients, from Jordan Zimmermann to Stephen Strasburg to draftee Lucas Giolito. So hard-throwing UNLV right-hander Erick Fedde, who’s being advised by Boras and who would have gone higher had he not gone under the knife, makes sense. The pick: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

    –Jon Heyman’s mock draft.
    (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24580634/mlb-mock-draft-astros-skip-rodon-at-no-1-in-deeper-than-expected-draft)

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      I’ve seen Fedde linked to us a lot.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        Well, of course The Fed would be linked to DC.

  10. jd - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    NL and David,

    I have seen that as well as Hoffman who also just had TJ and would have otherwise gone much higher.

    The one I’m intrigued by is Casey Gillespie a power hitting switch hitting 1st baseman who is being compared to Lance Berkman and Texiera.

  11. veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Braves already lost today.

  12. philipd763 - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Right now is definitely the time for the Nationals to permanently say goodbye to being a .500 ball club. (That means no more injury excuses.) This is the time to make the surge, not August 15th or September 1.

  13. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    I must say: I love when the Brave lose. It’s just a good day. I know that’s twerked but it’s the truth.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      They lost today?

  14. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    AND: GYFNG!

  15. unkyd59 - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    So I says to myself, I says “Tonys prolly never seen a knuckle… Prolly comin’ right here….DRIVE IT!”…. True story!

    • janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Love this. No like button so WTFreak

  16. veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Pretty good pitches to Zim

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      Yea, he didn’t get much to hit

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Did you see Espi dig that cutoff throw from Werth.

    • veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      No…another dog from Werth?

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      hmmmm…Espi promoter the last few weeks…
      Did you see Espi in his last ab…he didn’t ko

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Maybe you don’t read my posts. Frandsen is well below average on defense. If the Nats don’t trade for a 2nd baseman or move Rendon back over then Espi has to play there for the better defense.

        It’s just Espi vs Frandsen right now. Frandsen couldn’t pick Werth’s throw in Pittsburgh and he couldn’t field a hot smash right at his right foot that all added up to bringing in 3 runs of which 2 were earned.

        Good defense makes your pitching much better.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        No worries if you think Frandsen will take Espi’s job.
        Yes, we know Frandsen is not in the same league as Espi on defense, but very few are in Espi’s league on offense.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        Frandsen actually is a good LF. I had no idea how poor he is in the infield but in his defense he has been playing the super utility position but he has to make the play on a simple cut-off and he allowed a short-hop which he couldn’t handle. That shouldn’t happen.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:31 PM

        lucky he hasn’t had much chances and won’t have many more

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        I think MW has wised up. If a guy goes 0-4 and saves you 2 hits that’s probably better than a 1-4 and gives up 2 hits.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        we needed offense back then…
        Maybe MW will wise up about Zimm in left ?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        RZ gave a great quote from Adam Dunn that you better hit more than you give up.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        And every once in a while Espi will fall into one and get a key hit.

  18. veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Hmmmm….so this time MW elects to pitch to the #8 guy w an open 2nd base. Is he going by gut feeling, or can Burnett hit?

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Desi perfectly positioned to get that grounder. Off the bat that looked like a RBI single up the middle by my POV on the TV.

  20. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Nice pitch

  21. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Need a run and then for Strasburg to pitch quickly though 5. Rain is approaching in less than an hour.

  22. veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    The change looks good tonight.

  23. veejh - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    That boy can play some 3rd base

    • nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      Rendon sure can and ALR with a nifty tag at 1st. Thats how you win games.

  24. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Rain here in great falls

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      thanks sc…good to know

  25. nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Here we go. Does Espi swing for the fences with a long swing? Or does he try to make hard contact with a short swing.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      There’s your answer.

    • natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      Raining cats and dogs in Ashburn. Holy moley … Danny got a hit!

  26. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Danneeeeey! I am so GLAD for us and YOU!

  27. unkyd59 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Spinner.

  28. natsjackinfl - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Both proud and impressed with Danny Espinosa there.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Before that hit, Danny was 4-27 with bases loaded. Now 5-28. What do you think he is with 2 strikes and bases loaded?

  29. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Strasburg with a hit with RISP!

  30. natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Go sliver slugger!

  31. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    And Stras SMILING? Have the poles changed on the planet?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Got to beat up on the lousy teams. That’s how Davey did it 2012.

  32. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    OK, get out of this inning now boys. Gotta get the top 1/2 of the 5th in

  33. scnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    I am liking what I am seeing. Bring back Gio and Harper…

  34. texnat1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    So at what point do you strike out on purpose to get the 5 innings in. Mostly kidding.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      no, I think that is the right move given the very good weather info we have these days.

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        I was thinking same thing. Hate to restart a lead like this

  35. natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Need to get another 1/2 inning in very soon …. Less than a 1/2 hr I think them massive rain!

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      thank you Denard!!!!
      Taking one for the team…
      Now let’s make it official.

    • natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Good play by Span … Let’s get three quick outs

  36. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    too bad Span beat it out….
    OK, Danny, you will make a good util player in 3 weeks.

  37. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    If I’m the Phils I’m playing slow ball
    The gust front has already hit the stadium based on FP’s comment.

  38. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Good call, Carp…it’s really the 9th inning except it’s not official

  39. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Was waiting for his first adventure out there. At least it happened in a 4 run game.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      Come on guys. Sloppy sloppy sloppy. That’s a mental error on Strasburg for not getting over but a throwing error on LaRoche.

      • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        Indeed. I can forgive Zim for misplaying a ball. Strasburg not covering is inexcusable. And remember JZimm was very slow to cover yesterday and got very lucky on replay it showed he JUST beat the pitcher. Shouldn’t have been close. Our pitchers need to be reminded to cover the damn bag.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:45 PM

        This year the Nats pitchers (Stras, Gio, JZim) are holding on runners much better but have forgotten now how to PFF and how to bunt. This is inexcusable.

        If McCatty doesn’t get their heads out of their butts, he needs to find new employment. That is the bare minimum you expect.

      • nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Fister helps himself with his sound fundamentals on defense.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Ghost, didn’t the official scorer give the E to Stras? I know I scored it that way because IMHO LaRoche made a good throw that should have been caught.

        Like someone else said (DP?) our pitchers need to be reminded about the importance of covering first base on balls hit to the right side of the infield.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:02 PM

        He did give it to Stras. It could get changed. I think LaRoche threw it to where Stras was supposed to be instead of where he actually was.

  40. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Special K

  41. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Phew.

  42. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Whew!!!!!
    Now time for Nats to play slow ball…
    See ya at the park tomorrow boys and girls

  43. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Can it start raining right now? Just start downpouring please.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      But then what will we do? Lol

      Maybe a movie

  44. natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Thank you Lord that ended much better than it could have.

  45. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    slim my dog is freakin….He’s knows whats coming.

  46. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Oh my….Anthony!!!!!!! what a swing. Let’s get this inning in so it counts too.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Would he not get credit for it or the RBI ?

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        No, if the game ends before the inning ends from rain.

        If it was a walkoff,different story, of course,…you can ask Freddie Merkle

  47. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Nice tater. But should I root for outs?

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Depends on what the phillies do next inning

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Game is official, so it doesn’t matter now. If it rains and the game is called, we win.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        And you called it before the game began…BPA to DP

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        that is if the phils don’t come back and we get the 6th in.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        And would be a complete game for Stras if the game is canceled without being restarted.

  48. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    Love that Billy Joel song, Zimmm,,,The Down Easter Alexa

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Great song.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        So if you see my Downeaster Alexa
        And if you work with the rod and the reel
        Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis
        And I still have my hands on the wheel

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

        Doesn’t he mention Rockfish?

  49. natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Looks like rain at any time. Stadium is surrounded.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      good prediction!

  50. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Doesn’t it rain a lot when Stras and JZim pitch?

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      We’ve had a lot of rain down east this year

  51. natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    I can’t get my reply to work but it looked like the throw Zimmerman made was very weak. Rendon was way out in left and the throw got to him on one bounce. Is that what everybody else saw or did I see things?

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      You are partially correct. Weak throw from RZ but it was Desmond taking the relay not Rendon.

      • natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        Oh thanks … I’ll check it out later on mlb.tv

  52. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    How LNG will roof take? Can it be done in off season

  53. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Ruiz has a .388 OBP. That’s crazy. Scratch that. Make that .391

  54. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Ruiz and Ibanez are dangerous to us. But not tonight. Yay for 100!

  55. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    I think RZim needs some lefthanded outfield fungo. Just sayin’.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      DENARD SPAN, love you buddy…. A good man for DC and baseball.

  56. unkyd59 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Definitely liking the open stance, Danny…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Small sample size and hope he keeps it up.

      • natszee - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        Me too

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        too bad, he will hit the bench come July…no other choice unless God forbid an injury.
        But he’ll get his playing time

  57. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    AJ Burnett’s ERA up over 4.00. Last month the G&D group said Rizzo screwed up not signing him.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      ERA now at 4.44 and Rendon now batting .271

  58. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    My man Span…. Surprised SS didnt score too… What a game…

  59. knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Wow! Span is so dialed in at bat right now.

  60. TimDz - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Pretty sure Stevie Wonder saw that ball before Byrd did….

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      the ball was smoked……

  61. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Byrd looked as bad as Zimmerman out there and he’s a career OFer. Yikes.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      but never a good one….Frandsen is a career infielder

  62. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Rendon!!! the real deal.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Never a doubt.

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        Great eye, fast bat, puts head on ball. Larouche predicted multiple batting titles when he visited booth last week.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        So did I before they called him up. Best barrel up the ball I’ve seen in a long time.

  63. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Oh yeah… Loving this…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      Did you see that we got accused of hooking up last night since neither of us posted in-game! LOL

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Not so funny to Roger

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        True, the Shark is a jealous man.

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Admit it!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        LOL!

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        Has there been any denials? If so I must have missed them.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        LOL. You would be surprised where I really was yesterday that would fuel the rumors!!!!

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        Oh that’s funny… My air went out last night so I was trying to get stuff together to fix it… And then home work… And then today I had to work… I wish they would just call this game…

  64. unkyd59 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Well, Boys and Girls… It would seem the bats have awakened….

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      I can’t eat anymore pizza! Need 50% off firehouse! Lol

      • dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Try Pupatella in Arlington…

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        Been there. Damn good. But if in a-town hitting Italian store Milano!

  65. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    I hate the Phillies and even I think it’s disgusting that they are leaving AJ in like this. Pull him. Let the game be called. Stop already.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      I am for humiliation of any Phillie, not that the outing is humiliating

  66. janebeard - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    They should take out Stras and not take any changes. Put in someone else.

  67. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Your Nats RBI leaders are Desi 33, Rendon 32, LaRoche 28, Werth 24.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      Rendons avg now?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        .271

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        What site has live up to date batting averages?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        The MLB app and the ESPN realtime boxscores do.

  68. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Wet track. Why is Werth still out there?

    • nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      6 run lead in the 7th? Good question. Never want a guy with a history of groin pulls out there on wet grass when you are that far along in the game.

  69. dcwx61 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    That’s it….ballgame should be called now.

  70. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    BTW, those were Stras’s only 2 earned runs. Other 2 were unearned. Pitched to Mayberry was supposed to be up and out and came right into Mayberry’s wheelhouse.

  71. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    SS release look diff to anyone else? Little smoother, not as much odd torque.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      Great velo and definitely smoother. Seemed relaxed. He got out of sync after the RZim double over his head. Luckily with a big lead he didn’t fall apart.

  72. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Watching Nats hilights on MLB Network. Just saw the Span double over Byrd’s head and he misplayed that by 15 feet to where the ball landed and he was standing. That’s awful.

  73. texnat1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    If they call it now, does that mean Mayberry’s home run doesn’t count?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      It would count because the inning ended with a home team lead. They also changed the rules on when a game is cancelled before an official game that the stats count when the game is resumed. It used to be a rainout and replayed from the 1st pitch. The exact rules are probably somewhere and I’m too lazy to search for them :)

  74. unkyd59 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    R.I.P. Don Zimmer. Old school…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      Yah, that’s a shame. He’s been sick for a while Former Washington Senator too.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      Old Cubs hat over heart … RIP Popeye

  75. knoxvillenat - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    4:05 start tomorrow is that correct? Who is pitching for each team?

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Fister vs. Kendrick. Shame Bryce isn’t around, he’s hit Kendrick very, very hard.

    • David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Fister vs. Kendrick. Shame Bryce isn’t around, he’s hit Kendrick very, very hard.

  76. scnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Don Zimmer has died. Colorful old school guy. RIP.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      Damn unk we both call him old school. Bet that would make him happy.

    • nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      I remember Pedro Martinez body slamming Zimmer during a Yanks and Red Sox benches clearing meet & greet.

  77. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Has anyone noticed how AWFUL E-Jax has been for the Cubs? I know many people didn’t like him because he was inconsistent, but he was a pretty good 5 starter. I mean, we won 98 games with him. But for the Cubs, he’s been one of the worst pitchers in baseball. I don’t know what happened.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Either he’s real good or real bad and the inconsistency is the problem. Rizzo paid $11 million hoping to get a 3.50 ERA guy and got a 4+ ERA guy. In 2012 he gave up 4 earned runs or more in 9 of his starts but on the good side he gave up 2 earned runs or less in 16 of his starts. The strange thing is the Nats were 12-19 in games EJax started. The bullpen just wasn’t good behind him and several wins turned into losses.

  78. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Game restarting at 10:45. Guess we’ll have to earn the last 6 outs.

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Not sure that will happen

  79. secretwasianman - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Rays with sacks filled and zero out in bottom of ninth. Only muster 1 run and lose 5. 4. To fish. Drat. A little nervous about these last 2 innings.

  80. David Proctor - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWP 25s
    The game is expected to restart in 10 minutes but the rain is back, tarp is still on the field & the only player in sight is Kevin Frandsen.

  81. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Man this comment module sux!!!! All shuffled again

  82. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    I wish they would call this game already… 530 comes up very fast..

    • secretwasianman - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Lol. Yeah how about 4 15?

      • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Horrible! 11am comes nice n slow

  83. NatsLady - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Rays were 0 for 28 RISP before DeJesus grounder RBI. They still lost, and if the Cubs win they will have the worst record in MLB.

  84. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Mets down 1

  85. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Lets get some more Danny

  86. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    MNF index is 0! Hope he’s ok

    • Section 222 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      He must be at the game — maybe he’s one of those guys bellowing behind the dugout. It’s hard to understand them, but someone could be yelling: “WHY DID YOU SWING AT THAT PITCH?!”

  87. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    I guess Carp was wrong. No McLouth insertion into LF.

  88. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Maybe figures Zim needs the work…

  89. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Barrett can let that go by and there’s an infielder waiting on that Ryan Howard grounder. This is where Barrett gets in trouble when someone gets on base.

  90. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Barrett has control issues

  91. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Please pull Barrett….. Idk why he even went in tonight.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Maybe. It’s inly a 4-run lead, but you don’t want to piss away your bullpen on a game like this.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        Well, he’s been out there for yhe whole delay too, and probably not expecting to the game to come back any more than we were. And he did in fact do his job, whick is to put up a zero.

  92. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    Are you kidding me? 4 pitch walk. Not good Barrett. You never want to issue free passes like that.

  93. scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Nice recovery

  94. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Whew.. It’s too dang on late for any theatrics..

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      Our bullpen number 1 in majors

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      No kidding. He’s now had 5 straight appearances where he’s put men on base and 4 of 5 where he’s walked a batter.

      Please give us clean innings.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM

        League starting to scout him?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:02 AM

        I would say a little bit where they know his arsenal which the first few opponents didn’t know and where he places the fastball and slider. Now they have some tendencies on when to look for the slider and where he places his fastball.

        I think his wipeout slider is now inconsistent. When he came up that slider was filthy. Now it’s sloppy. His control just hasn’t been there.

        Really disappointing as I saw him as a possible future closer.

  95. manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    I was at my school’s graduated. Got in car for the rain delay.

    Glad the team hit better first 6 innings than they did in the 7th.

    Barrett a little shake, but yielded no runs.

  96. manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Let’s hit Bastard-o

    • scmargenau - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Welcome back.

  97. nats128 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Just saw Mikey Morse with another big HR in a clutch ab with his team behind to tie the game. Giants win 3-2.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      +1

  98. manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Come on Blevins you can do it

  99. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Danny to LaRoche with another nice defensive gem!

  100. manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Golden sombraro for Rollins.

    Sacrafice for me as he is my fantasy SS

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      I could never put another NL East player on my fantasy team if I played that fantasy stuff.

  101. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Where was that blue? 2-2 paint by Blevins!

  102. manassasnatsfan - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    Another sweep chance.

  103. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Untucked, and now I will tuck in.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      Wow, Rendon is a really crappy interview. I blame Werth.

  104. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Bullpen got the Maalox going but in the end they put up zeroes.

  105. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Good going Nats… Good going…

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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