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Nats in midst of historic run of dominance

Jun 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

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When Ian Desmond launched a 3-run homer off Texas’ Colby Lewis in the bottom of the fourth back on May 30, it was immediately wondered whether that sorely needed blast would serve as the catapult that finally got the Nationals going on a prolonged hot streak.

But even the most optimistic of Nationals faithful couldn’t have foreseen a streak as hot as this.

How dominant has this team been? Well, after last night’s 9-2 trouncing of the previously red-hot Giants, the Nats have now won 8-of-10 games since that Desmond homer against the Rangers. They’ve outscored opponents in those 10 games 62-18. Their only two losses during this stretch? A 2-0 shutout at the hands of Yu Darvish and a 4-3 loss in San Diego in which Rafael Soriano served up a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth.

In other words: Their wins are all blowouts and their losses have been by the slimmest of margins.

All of which makes this the most-dominant 10-game stretch in Nationals history. Seriously.

Since arriving in D.C. in 2005, the Nats have never outscored opponents by 44 runs in 10 games. Actually, since the Expos franchise was born in 1969, only one other club has enjoyed a +44 run differential over a 10-game stretch: the 1996 Montreal team featuring Pedro Martinez, Henry Rodriguez (the outfielder, not the command-challenged reliever) and some guy named F.P. Santangelo.

Sure, there was that 10-game winning streak in June 2005, the one that launched the inaugural Nationals into first place in the NL East and made them the talk of baseball. But that streak was notable for its come-from-behind victories and late dramatics. The Nats won those 10 games by a total of 25 runs, hardly the kind of night-in, night-out dominance we’re seeing right now.

This stretch has seen the Nationals excel in every possible way. They’re scoring runs by the bushel, getting contributions from up and down the lineup. Twelve different players have driven in at least two runs in these 10 games. Seven different lineup regulars (everyone but Ryan Zimmerman) sport at least a .342 on-base percentage. Denard Span is slugging .565 during this run. That’s 2 points higher than Ryan Braun’s career slugging percentage.

And we haven’t even discussed the starting rotation yet.

You know, the rotation that over the last six games has now allowed seven earned runs and 25 hits in 43 innings, striking out 47 while issuing zero walks. Yes, you read that correctly. Forty-seven strikeouts and zero walks in six games. Records for these sort of things only go back to 1914, but according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nationals rotation is the first ever to strike out 47 batters without walking any.

The skeptics pointed to the Nationals’ weak opposition over the last week — the injury-plagued Rangers, the foundering Phillies, the offensively impotent Padres — and cautioned not to make too big a deal out of this. The Nats needed to play somebody decent before they could be taken seriously.

Well, they just marched into AT&T Park last night and completely throttled the best team in baseball.

Yes, it’s only one game, there are three more to go in the series, and momentum can change in a hurry. But it’s becoming near-impossible to discount what the Nationals are doing right now. They’re not just winning games, they’re annihilating everything that steps in their way. They’re not just scoring runs, they’re scoring tons of runs, with everybody in the lineup contributing in some way. And they’re not just getting good pitching performances, they’re getting historically dominant pitching performances.

The Nationals are playing better baseball than anybody in the game right now. They’ve got the sport’s third-best run differential (behind only the A’s and Giants). They’re playing with confidence.

And there’s no reason to believe they can’t continue doing this.

195 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. unkyd59 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    Sorry I missed it… West coast swings are tough, man…..

    GYFNGOGOGO!!!!

  2. natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    Oh, my. Judging from the happy game results email, it appears that we “beat the pants off them,” as my octogenarian aunt the baseball fan would say. I think I’ll wait for my old friend in SFO to email me rather than the other way around.

  3. ArVAFan - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    I think I’ll have some Kool-Aid with my breakfast.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:08 AM

      +1

  4. chaz11963 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    WOW…. absolutely unbelievable. Let’s keep this train running down the track!

  5. 3on2out - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    And don’t forget…just 2 weeks ago , prescient posters on this page predicted this pathetic team was already playing out the string. No heart, no talent, no hope. I won’t mention any specific names…let’s keep that a Secret between us.

    • unkyd59 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      ;-)

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      Shoot, there were numerous posters (tho not secret ones) saying that in the threads *yesterday.*

    • scnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      I said the team lacked swagger and heart and wished it played with more emotion.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      This was my comment before the game that the turn-around started:

      Joe Seamhead – May 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM
      Call it a silly hunch, but I think that the Nats bottomed out Weds night in the loss to the Fish. Look out! Bring in the weak, aging and children! They’re getting set to go on a murderous streak leaving nothing but carnage for the carrion fowl in their wake!

      GYFNG!!!y

      • unkyd59 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        I smiled the first time I read it, when it was fresh, and I like it even more, now…

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Thanks,unkyd. This group is too good to not go on a murderous rampage.
        BTW, I am admittedly wrong plenty, too!

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

        I like that Joe!

      • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        probably time to buy a lotto tix. I do remember the post given the descriptive language. Well done.

      • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        I remember smiling at this comment when you made it, but of course I had no idea it would turn out to be prescient. That loss to Miami was a low point for sure. Zim’s return came just in time.

    • Brookstoor - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Who cares what those “prescient posters” said in the past? Everybody is prone to overreacting in either direction. Let those fans learn on their own that baseball has incredible ups and downs. Some people lost heart during a rough stretch? You don’t say?! If you aren’t going to “mention any specific names” then you are just being annoying and taking a pointless dig.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        +1

  6. naterialguy - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    Amazing the difference that our pitchers plyayng up to their abilities makes. Even when we are winning in April we the inconsistency of the pitching staff made things look tenuous at best. Now with pitchers pitching to their capabilities, I feel the whole team has more confidence and are able to relax at the plate.
    This could be fun

  7. chaz11963 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Fangraphs continue to have the Nats and Giants as the 2 best teams in the NL:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings

  8. Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Great performances all around!

    Span and especially Desi were on fire. That Strasburg guy wasn’t so bad either.

  9. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    I think maybe the Athletics are the “best team in baseball” and we didn’t far so well against them, if I recall. But yes, by W-L record…

    There’s one thing about Madison Bumgarner that I noticed. He’s a lefty. Well, I didn’t just notice it, he’s been a lefty for a few years. :) Here are the Nats against lefty starters..290/.345/.437. (15 games). Of NL teams, only the Fish are better against lefties (.296/.355/.454).

    We need to solve Alex Wood and Brad Hand (0-4) but that’s for another day.

    .

    • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      P.S., I don’t see any word on RZimm’s ankle. I wonder if we’ll see Hairston in LF. Wouldn’t be the worst day to give Ryan off, with Fister being a ground-ball type guy and Hairston being a lefty-basher.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Matt Williams said in the post game that the ball that hit him, (Morse was charged with E3) hit him in the leg, but that he was fine.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        If a ball hits a runner in the leg, shouldn’t the catcher be charged with the error? Of course, when the catcher is Buster Posey, maybe the official scorer was a wee bit lenient?

      • texnat1 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        Yeah, that should definitely be on Posey, the ball hit Zim in his achilles just as he got to first base. No chance for the Beast to get to that ball.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Ahem.

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Considering that I have Mikey on my fantasy team, and fielding percentage is one of our stats, I think it absolutely should be an error on Posey :)

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Not 1 in-game comment last night from the G&D group of SWM and his un-merry men. It must tear them up how well the Nats are playing.

    • Brookstoor - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      Who the heck is this “G&D” group you all talk about here so much? I don’t read the game day threads, but in the post game threads I don’t see anything of the sort but you and a few others will without fail mention them after a win. Game day threads are always filled with instant reactions by their very nature. Are you surprised that people have negative reactions in the moment? Let those people be embarrassed by their own posts. Comment on the Nats doing well, or not doing well, which is fair to do too.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:29 AM

        The G&D is the Gloom & Doom led by Secretwasianman and his un-merry men.

        They don’t come to the in-game to offer insight, they are like the person who would squeeze lemon juice into a fresh wound.

        The worst part is that they have run off good people from here that would rather hang out on Twitter than here and that’s saying something.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Well put. The in-game threads are unreadable to me for that reason. At least on Twitter you get a mix of people with negative reactions based on their team screwing up (or being perceived as screwing up). It took until the game was 9-1 for people to stop calling for squeezes and stuff.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        The “well put” was for Brookstoor. And I’m one of those who rarely post in-game, I usually don’t even read in-game. Certain posters are a running stream-of-consciousness. That’s fine. Maybe it’s like sitting next to them at a game, and people like to do that, vent during games with their friends around them.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        “Maybe it’s like sitting next to them at a game, and people like to do that, vent during games with their friends around them.”

        It’s more like standing in line in front of them at a movie theater while they go on and on about the work of Marshall McLuhan.

      • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Ha! Priceless.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Have NO IDEA what that was in reponse to. The threads are all mixed up.

      • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        I think it was to sofa’s comparing MNF’s game post antics to the loud guy in the movie line in Annie Hall. Definitely a reference that those of us of a certain age could appreciate.

      • scnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        I’m going to have to step it up to post here have no idea who that is

      • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Today he would say, ” I don’t necessarily agree with everything I post”

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        “Today [McLuhan] would say, ‘I don’t necessarily agree with everything I post.’”

        I said that two years ago, and excoriated myself for it at the time.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        Now that’s funny!

      • natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Seconded, er, thirded. Am I to understand that those who are criticizing others have never uttered a negative in-game thought? (I don’t tend to read/comment in game threads, but I’ve read enough over the years to know that this is not the only blog where a negative comment (gasp!) is ever uttered during a game thread.) ;-)

        ===

        The “well put” was for Brookstoor. And I’m one of those who rarely post in-game, I usually don’t even read in-game. Certain posters are a running stream-of-consciousness. That’s fine. Maybe it’s like sitting next to them at a game, and people like to do that, vent during games with their friends around them.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        1a

        To be fair, there is a difference between an occasional ill word uttered in frustration and a never ending stream of relentless negativity.

        The former is to be expected–everybody does it. The latter is ruining the game threads, as the earlier poster might know if s/he had actually read them before taking Ghost to task.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        We’ve had this discussion a million times by now, and it’s never going away, I know, but still. It’s not even the negativity, it’s the pointless, uninformed, irrational, and constant one-stick drum solo of whining and carping. If it were even just two out of four of those things, I might not mind it so much, but it’s like rhetorical flatulence in a still room. A reasonable person might well object to that.

        Of course, the other part–baiting them, and poking them until they do the very thing you’re complaining about them doing in the first place–is almost as annoying, and arguably dumber. So there’s that. And I’ve done that, I’m sorry to say.

        But I just so want Marshall McLuhan here sometimes.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        “Well, they just marched into AT&T Park last night and completely throttled the best team in baseball.”

        Just saying.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        +1 on your observations.

        And another +1 for the mea culpa about the baiting–me, even culpa-er, I am sorry to say.

      • Sonny G 10 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        +1 sofa.

      • Sonny G 10 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        That is, +1 on your 12:21 sofa.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        +1
        The blog is the thing

      • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        I don’t read the game day threads….

        And that’s why you don’t know!

        We had guys writing off the season, and writing off Strasburg’s season after the first inning of the year. No, I’m not exaggerating.

        And, by April 25, comments that the season was already lost.

        Wouldn’t you call that Gloom and Doom?

  11. zmunchkin - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Perhaps it is Betsy? See this article by Kilgore on the WaPo site:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/jayson-werth-and-betsy-a-story-of-true-glove/2014/06/09/7dac4dee-f005-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html

    • unkyd59 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Nice piece, Münch… Check the thread befor yesterday’s gamer. This was linked there, with some commentary…

      • zmunchkin - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        Thx. Missed that.

    • tcostant - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Can’t believe I wasted my time on that fluff article…

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Mark is guilty of what Alan Greenspan would have called “irrational exuberance.” Understandable but we can’t take it to the bank, yet. I’m still going to be satisfied with a split at AT&T Park. Going in, I thought between the Giants’ offense and still formidable pitching each game was a toss-up, and I still think so. Winning Game One, however, makes it more likely they can win three. Unfortunately the Braves look poised to sweep the Rockies horrible pitching meaning Nats would probably have to go 7-2 on this road trip to remain in first place. Longer term, things look positive but it’s frustrating to have to beat “the best team in baseball” while the Braves are feasting on a creampuff (maybe two creampuffs)..

    • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Theo, I was thinking the same, and also Kilgore’s gamer. I’d like to give it a little longer. Not because I don’t think this group can’t perform–they obviously can–but because I’m dreading the next injury. “In the midst” is hopeful, and FUN, but even worst teams canhave hot streaks.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        What, you mean they might lose another game this season?

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        HH, yeah, they might. I toldya, we haven’t solved Alex Wood and Brad Hand yet. And Gio is very likely to walk guys when he comes back.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      Enjoy the power of now….this has been pretty freakin bueno to borrow a bloggers handle

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        +1, dcwx61. I am going to shamelessly ride this wave of unfettered euphoria with no apologies to anyone!

        GYFNG!!!

        N-A-T-S NATS! NATS! NATS!

        Keep in mind while the Nats have a tough schedule over the next couple of weeks, the Braves have a fairly easy one, other then when they play the Nats.

    • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Mark is guilty of what Alan Greenspan would have called “irrational exuberance.”

      During our doldums I pulled out the Boswell quote, perhaps it’s useful now, too:

      A team is never as bad as they seem during a losing streak, and never as good as they appear to be during a winning streak.

      Nevertheless, this _is_ a team that, when Harper returns, ought to have a very formidable lineup, and (if Gio gets back on track), a pretty decent bench, and a set of 5 starters that can’t be matched down the line, and the deepest BP in baseball. Even with Stras and JZ’s early season woes, even with having to pull two rookies from AAA, the Nats have the top team ERA in the NL.

      There’s a reason that http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/ has the Nats finishing 3 games ahead of the Braves (and just 1 game away from the second best record in the NL). (BTW, that link gets updated every day)

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Thank you for the correct quote, Wonk.

    • bowdenball - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Atlanta is “poised to sweep the Rockies” because they won the first of four games? I don’t know what the opposite of “irrational exuberance” is, but I think that qualifies.

      The Rockies are 29-34 with a +2 run differential. Obviously losing Carlos Gonzalez hurts them, but I think you went just a wee bit overboard with the “creampuff” and “poised to sweep” comments. They could sweep them, sure, but it’s MUCH more likely that they’ll lose at least one of the next three.

      And besides, if they’re as much of a creampuff as you say, the Nats have quite an opportunity to make up ground at the end of this month when they start a ten game stretch where they play only the Cubs and the Rockies.

      • DaveB - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        I agree with you (and you are certainly right that a 4 game sweep is unlikely against anybody), however, the Rockies really are struggling right now. They’ve lost 10 of 11, have 4 starters out (including CarGo & Cuddyer), and are reaching deep to pull up rookie pitchers (including Eddie Butler, who also just went on the DL). So .. ATL really is hitting Colorado at a particularly fortunate time.

    • realdealnats - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      My best friend once talked his way out of a speeding ticket by claiming “irrational exhuberance” to the judge. True story. Southern Maryland too.

  13. Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Very enjoyable post. There’s really nothing irrationally exuberant about it, until the very last line: “And there’s no reason to believe they can’t continue doing this.” Actually there’s every reason to believe they can’t continue to do this — a century of baseball history for one. I can confidently predict that the Nats are not going to play .800 baseball for the rest of the season, Span is not going to continue to slug at a .565 rate, and the starters will walk someone — maybe even tonight. But the fact is, they are playing well right now and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, even though the games keep me up after my bedtime.

    I’ll be satisfied with 4-3 against two very tough teams with very good pitching. 5-2 would be just great, and having won the first game against the Giants, now we just have to win the next two three-game series. That’s doable, but tough.

    I hope the guys are gearing themselves up to dismantle the Braves’ house of cards when they come to town. All the blowouts in the world won’t mean anything if we still can’t beat those guys.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      As you watched this team, and especially Rendon, I think the bad luck BABIP was to an extreme and that goes for JZim as a pitcher. Good luck and bad luck should even out and maybe it finally is or maybe it isn’t when you consider the Nats missed 2 HRs last night by a brick and a foot.

      I said it while it was unfolding during some tough weeks in May because when you watch the games every day it was hard to believe the bad luck at times.

    • texnat1 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      I’d be satisfied with 3-4 with this brutal 7 game stretch.

      • natszee - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Nope … It will be 4-3, 3-1 Giants and 2-1 Cards.

      • natszee - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Correction (finger check) – make that 3-1 Giants, 1-2 Cards.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Team leaders in RISP:

    Harper .333/.429
    TyMo .316/.409
    JDub .309/.424
    Desi .308/.403
    Ramos .300/.333
    ALR .286/.483
    RZim .238/.320
    Span .227/.271
    ARen .217/.306
    Lobo .167/.231
    Dobbs .167/.143
    Frands .133/.235
    Hairst .125/.182
    McLou .111/.360
    Espi .102/.237

    A bunch of guys got healthy in RISP last night.

    • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Espi didn’t.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        Espi was at .061 so those bases loaded hits over the weekend bumped him up. It’s still historically bad but better statistically then you have last night with those 3 ugly K’s.

        Espi gets to bat right-handed tonight.

      • natszee - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        #1 issue with Danny, in April he struck out about one in every four at bats. Since April (yes, including his recent streak of luck), he strikes out every other at bat (nearly). You can’t score runs when you fail to make contact. Unfortunately, Danny figures this out for a few games and then reverts right back. He is the polar opposite of “clutch”.

        So when he returns to the bench, he is basically a defensive replacement (and an outstanding one at that), but, to have him pinch hit with RISP is, by his own statistics, a wasted out 1/2 the time. Unfortunate.

    • bowdenball - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      If a bunch of guys can get “healthy” in a stat in one night in June, it’s not a useful stat.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        Maybe it’s just BABIP turning but you saw the JWerth relaxed this week doing his thing where he didn’t look like he was trying to carry the team.

      • bowdenball - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        I believe it’s performance with RISP correcting to performance in general as the sample size increases.

        Nats are hitting .252/.319/.399 overall and .226/.330./362 with RISP. Considering that teams in the NL often pitch around the 8 hitter to get to the pitcher with RISP (thus the slightly higher OBP and slightly lower average/slugging with RISP), they’re basically identical. Just like you’d expect since it’s been proven time and time again that players and teams hit basically the same in all situations.

        Here’s the Braves overall: .240/.302/.378, and with RISP: .233/.318/.380.

        The reason I say it’s not a useful stat is because it’s not predictive and can be misleading. It tells you what’s happened already but it’s not a useful split as far as telling you what will happen. If you have a choice between an .850 OPS hitter who has only hit .750 OPS with RISP and a .700 OPS hitter who has somehow hit .800 OPS with RISP, you take the first guy every single time.

    • Doc - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      Great stats, Ghost!.

      Thanks!

      Surprised about ARen’s stuff.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      What frosts me, Ghost, is that they often don’t have to get a hit, just a sac fly, or a slow roller up the middle, to get a run in. The Padres were great at doing that, winning 3 of 7 against the Nats, with 2 1-run games to their credit in the win column out of the 3 they won.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Absolutely, those are the real productive outs and good situational hitting. Nothing good comes from batters striking out.

        Put bat on ball and let BABIP work for you.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      The real neat stat is Desi is now 5 for 5 with the bases loaded.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Yah, that’s impressive and he’s .667 with runners on 3rd and 2 outs.

  15. 6ID20 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    If not for Yu Darvish and Rafael Soriano, Matt Williams would be doing his Babe Ruth impersonation before the game tonight.

  16. NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    • Giolito 4IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 6K yesteday. He better get with the program, stop walking guys.

    Well, our rotation will start walking guys when (big) Gio gets back anyway…

    UT Jeff Kobernus transferred to Potomac for MLB rehab.

    All our minor league teams won yesterday except Harrisburg (they were off). The P-Nats magic number is four.

    Remember the GSL Nats last year breaking all records for wins? Well, they are the Hagerstown Suns this year, and 42-22 so far.

    http://nationalsprospects.com/2014/06/tuesdays-news-notes-73/

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      “He better get with the program, stop walking guys.”

      Good one!

    • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      Wow — can you tell us more about the Suns? Who do we have over there that’s a true prospect?

      • Melissa - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        The entire starting rotation: Lucas Giolito, Jake Johansen, Austin Voth, Hector Silvestre, and Jefry Rodriguez (although Rodriguez hasn’t really adjusted to skipping a level yet).

        The notable position players are Drew Ward and Rafael Bautista, with Wilmer Difo having a breakout campaign so far.

        The other notable members of the GCL team should be playing for Auburn, whose season starts in a week. Guys to look out for include Osvaldo Abreu, Randy Encarnacion, and Raudy Read. I would hope that none of them are repeating the GCL.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Great info, Melissa. Thanks for posting!

      • Melissa - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        You’re welcome! I would just like to note that I accidentally left off Nick Pivetta, who has struggled a bit recently but started out the season strong. Johansen is missing a start with a blister, so the question is who will be the odd man out in the starting rotation when he returns. I’m thinking that either Silvestre or Rodriguez is ticketed for Auburn. Silvestre could also be moved to the bullpen, but he’s left handed so it might be too early to give up on him.

        Hopefully some of Hagerstown’s starting rotation gets to Potomac after the all star game.

      • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        You’re really on top of the Farm!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        +2. Thanks!

  17. rayvil01 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    I know this will seem simplistic but my brother’s theory is that the Nats are a hot weather team. This run started about the tine summer declared itself. JZ’s previous start was in a muggy sweat-fest. Cold weather? Not so much.

    They are playing well. The results will be there. Plenty of time to get ahead of Atlanta for good.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Remember the coldest winter for Mark Twain was a summer in San Francisco

    • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      I have thought so too. They did have that good April in 2012, but I’d like to check the weather records for that spring…

    • bowdenball - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      Pretty good theory … but I saw sweaters and jackets in the stands last night. Maybe they’re just a summer team?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        McCatty was wearing a sweatshirt under his coat.

    • Brookstoor - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Didn’t Stras have trouble in extreme heat? At least on a few occasions in 2012 and 2013 he did. I’m pretty sure I remember it being mentioned a few times, but then again the media guys love those little factoids even when they are only half-truths, and he did fine yesterday on what was described as a hot day.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        on what was described as a hot day.

        Beware of polar bears delivering weather reports.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      I have also thought as much in the past but didn’t bother with collecting any data to prove or discard the point. one of these days I might do just that.

  18. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Without any objective evidence to point to, I’m going to hazard an opinion that the rotation’s command of the strike zone/lack of walks the last two weeks is traceable to the examples set by Fister and Roark. How does Stephen Strasburg go from nearly three BB per nine innings last year to 2.0 this season? How does Treinen go from five BB against Pittsburgh to zero against TX and SD? I think it’s the exposure to Fister and Roark, who realize their tenure in the majors depends on working quickly and pounding the strike zone, not in playing with their food.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      Not to mention that Gonzalez should spend some time watching how it’s done.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Gio’s game has always been nibble nibble and it shouldn’t be that way when you’re a power pitcher. Rizzo knew what he was getting when he traded for him.

        When his curveball is working he’s going to be very good and when it’s not, it’s going to be ugly because he’s basically a 2 pitch guy who throws his changeup around 10% of the time. If Gio can throw a few more changeups to work off of his fastball, he might be more effective.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        Gio is what he is. He’s been pretty consistent as a Nat – BB/9 rates of 3.43, 3.5, and 3.55 for 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively.

        That’s no reason he shouldn’t try to be better, as Ghost says, but he’s not going to turn into Greg Maddux or Cliff Lee. Or even Doug Fister.

      • natszee - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Gio is a solid #2 on the staff. Yes, he gets in trouble with the walks and would be much more successful if he could curb those but since coming to the Nats in 2012, he is a solid #2 in games pitched, innings pitched and wins. Right behind the ace of the staff which leads in all those categories, Jordan Zimmerman.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Wow – you’re working pretty hard not to give Strasburg credit for his own success.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Did you miss the WaPo article about McCatty conversation with Strasburg and Zimmerman about their respective personal objectives before each start? Most of Strasburg’s problems have been between his ears.

      • jd - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Strasburg hasn’t had many problems, he leads the NL pitchers in WAR and that’s after a really poor April. Don’t look now but Stras has been the best pitcher in the NL since Fernandez went down.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Still working pretty hard.

    • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Wait, your theory is that after three years in the majors Stephen Strasburg all of a sudden got better command from watching Fister and Roark? “Exposure” to other good pitchers makes you better? Treinen sees Fister and Roark pitch twice after his lukewarm outing in Pittsburgh and all of a sudden he’s an ace? Too bad H-Rod didn’t hang around to watch them. How do we know something didn’t click in Stras’s head when he watched Kershaw or Wainwright or Bartolo Colon?

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Are you trying to inject logic and reasoning into a sports discussion on the Internet? Good luck!

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Stop it guys! I can’t handle this much praise for Nationals. makes me dizzy.

    • ArVAFan - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Just as long as it doesn’t make the players dizzy (or overconfident). And after last year, I think there’s a low risk of overconfidence at this point in the season.

  20. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    “You’re not as bad as you look when you’re slumping, and you’re not as good as you look when you’re hot.”

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      +1 (although they are more fun to watch when they’re hot).

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      That was one of Davey’s favorite sayings but over a full season it’s where you are in a marathon is what you really are.

      I believe the Nats started the year where MW had some unrealistic expectations that this team would be an aggressive running team. It didn’t take long before it cost the Nats some L’s and we all knew that MW had a poor record as a 3rd base coach as he had either the highest or 2nd highest amount of runners thrown out at the plate.

      The defense was awful overall in April and the injuries cut deep. The bad luck BABIP was bad.

      I think getting Fister going has been enormous for this team. You can see his effect on his fellow pitchers. The pride is back in PFF and it has shown and it seems the entire team defense has tightened up.

      Getting Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman back has now given Werth that sense of confidence where he no longer feels he has to carry this team on his back. His RISP BA has skyrocketed back up. Yesterday that patented compact “serve” swing into the shallow outfield is back instead of the one where he was trying to hit everything for a HR and was coming up short.

  21. Eric - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    So…anyone else think Morse was plunked intentionally due to expressing negative opinions about the Stras shutdown and saying the Giants fans do Take On Me better than Nats fans did? Either way, the crickets that greeted it when he walked up in the 7th were great.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      I didn’t think it was intentional. But it was certainly cosmic.

    • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      I sure hope not.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      No.

    • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Doubt it — it was an 0-2 count, and Barrett’s a rookie.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        +1.

      • NatsLady - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Yeah, I don’t know. I looked at the graphs. He had excellent control except that one pitch… Just that one pitch…(I put the graphs in my game post which will be up later). I’ve often wondered how the clubhouse felt about Morse.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      I hope we stay away from such nonsense where hitting someone with a ball (or bat, as machado tried) is the only way to put someone in their place.

      • Eric - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        I think we do engage in it, albeit selectively, and I think we try to be understated about it. Remember that Braves game last season when Stras was all over the place, then I believe he hit a batter and pitched behind another and was ejected? I don’t think he was wild by accident that day.

        Whether or not we *do* engage in it, I agree it’s nonesense. For the record, I’m not convinced we do it, I just see the possibility sometimes, as with Barrett last night.

    • Dave - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I doubt that the Nats players care a tiny little bit how well the DC fans sang “Take On Me” in comparison to the SF fans. I have a funny feeling it was never on their radar.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      I just can’t find any way that makes sense. Barrett wasn’t here last year, nevermind 2012, and neither was Matt WIlliams, so why either one of them would give a [darn] eludes me. I suppose Werth could have told him to do it, perhaps for some real or perceived slight from years ago that we probably know nothing about, but even that seems like a stretch.

      Still, he did drill Morse pretty conclusively, which might itself be a bit fishy.

  22. tcostant - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Wow – I’m jacked up after reading this. Go Nats!

    • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Or amped up perhaps? :-)

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Stealing from Kilgore, the last time tonight’s starters faced each other was Game 2 of the 2012 World Series (Fister/Bumgarner). Fister took that shot off his noggin in that game.

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Strasburg was exceptional last night the way he and Ramos game planned. I loved how they executed the pitches and especially keeping the leadoff batters off base. His changeup was killer last night.

    I love me some Mike Morse but will be thrilled if he doesn’t get a hit the entire series.

  25. Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    I don’t get the Strasburg “problem” comment. I was at a game where a young man after being rushed through the minors pitch one of the most electrifying games that anybody ever saw. Then he battled back from TJ surgery, dealt with the shutdown that he wanted no part of, has suffered through more than a few games of mediocre defense behind him, and still has great numbers,and people conclude that he is somehow weak, and a head case? I can’t help but to ask, who is the head case? Because the criticisms seem to be nuts to me, not Stephen Strasburg.

    • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      +1. Sure glad that Roark arrived for Stras to learn how to pitch from.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Yes, I don’t know why folks can’t realize that Stras is simply really good, and has been every year he’s been in the bigs.

    • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      +1

      He led the Nats in almost every category last year, except wins, b/c of bad defense and weak run support — and folks thought it was a bad year.

      I think, in part, his debut set expectations so high, that when he doesn’t have a 24-4 season, it’s considered “not fulfilling his potential.”

      But, facts are: he’s been among the 10 best pitchers in the NL year after year. What more can folks reasonably want?

      • veejh - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        For him to be top 3, year after year?

      • natszee - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        He was 3rd in GP, IP, W. He is very good, he is not the best pitcher on the staff.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        natzee

        That is a curious set of statistics you have chosen as the measures of “best pitcher on the staff.”

        The selection principle seems to be to carefully exclude all those stats–ERA (and its saber equivalents), Ks, K/BB ratio, WHIP–in which Stras leads.

        Curious.

      • bowdenball - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        It is sad that many Nats fans will never appreciate the pleasure we’ve been given in watching Strasburg pitch because they expect too much (top 3 year after year is impossible) or they’ve simply bought into a false narrative about his “toughness” carved by writers more concerned with click bait and hot takes than truth.

        The truth is that Strasburg is the best starting pitcher in the brief history of the Washington Nationals and has been one of the best in the game since he returned from TJ surgery. Since the start of the 2012 season he’s 7th in ERA (at least 400 innings), 7th in strikeouts, and 2nd in strikeout/walk ratio. If that’s not enough for you, I think maybe the problem isn’t Stras, it’s you.

      • adcwonk - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        + 10 !

      • Dave - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        In fact, the three stats that natszee cited are about the least helpful statistics possible to describe how a pitcher has performed. Pitcher “wins” are meaningless.

        “Blown save / win.” I rest my case.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Word Press just went bananas again.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      You WordPress. You lollygag the comments around the thread. You lollygag your way down to the end of the post. You lollygag in and out of the time zone. You know what that makes you?

      “Word Press just went bananas again.”

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Crappy platf … oh, wait, no …

        Lollygaggers.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        Thank you. :-D

        ===

        Crappy platf … oh, wait, no …

        Lollygaggers.

  27. Doc - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Not that we need him, but Suk is hitting .307, with an OBP of about .380, and 29 RBIs for the Twinkies.

    How come he couldn’t do that sh*** for us?????

    Stayed up again, for last night’s game—don’t regret it at all!

    Go Nattttttttttttttttttts!!!!!

  28. veejh - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    After reading the thread, what more is there to say? Perfect time to get hot.

    Woop, woop!

  29. tcostant - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Rangers are in terested in Tyler Moore:

    http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/418864?eref=sircrc&eref=fromSI

    • dcsportsfan2277 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      As long as they take Det as well. If there ever was a player who needed a fresh start it is Det.

  30. tcostant - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/418864?eref=sircrc&eref=fromSI

    Rangers are interested in Tyler Moore

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Can Morales play 1B? Why did the Rangers outbid the Twins for him.

  31. Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Boy is this thread a mess. Mark, I hope when you have a chance you’ll ask the CSN tech gurus to look into why WordPress is failing us on a regular basis. A return to Google Blogger would be just fine with me.

    • Doc - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Amen to that, Section 222.

      WordPress needs to give the money back!

      WordPress must be the same nerdy clowns that did the Obamacare rollout!

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        LOL could be the same clowns

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        It’s not actually WordPress, it’s the implementation. Other sites manage to make it work.

  32. manassasnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    I guess I am doom and gloom or certain things. RISP and not advancing runners, and walking lead off men (now I am to the point any walk is not good as they showed they can avoid walks).

    On the other hand I am also one of those who have said they will win the east from the beginning and never have left that conviction.

    Where does that place me (besides being the one with worst eye sight, and with terrible finger control).

    GO Nats

  33. manassasnatsfan - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    By the way Word Press is pathetic.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      If WordPress doesn’t improve, the Nats’ season is doomed.

      • Section 222 - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        haha! or at least this blog is.

  34. dcsportsfan2277 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Stras has now gotten a taste of how good he can be and I am really liking his demeanor and how he attacks the hitters. I saw some pitches last night that were just ridiculously good. Not only the change-up but a couple of fastballs that went from one side of the plate to the other.

    This rotation is pitching like nothing I have seen from the Nats or anyone since 1914. Talk about a WOW factor. They are scary good and when Gio returns it will only get better (I hope). No offense to Treinen who has a great job filling in and has major upside.

    Today is a new day so go get them fellas…Go Nats!

    • Sonny G 10 - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Wow. You’ve never seen pitching this good since 1914? That would make you over a hundred years old. You must be our oldest Nats fan. :)

  35. natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I do understand the frustration/annoyance factor. As noted, I don’t tend to read or comment in game threads and haven’t on other blogs as well, partly because of the knee-jerk nature of in-game commenting and partly because, well, I’m a Luddite and don’t have a smart phone or computer. Perhaps it’s more challenging during West Coast trips, when folks who are staying up late to watch games may have fuses that are a bit shorter than usual? Not that I’m a mind-reader, or an in-game poster, mind you.

    On another note, extra points to sec3 for the “rhetorical flatulence” line.

  36. natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Word Press, you lollygagger, you. That was supposed to go the post-noon comments of HH and sec3. grrr…

    natsfan1a – Jun 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I do understand the frustration/annoyance factor. As noted, I don’t tend to read or comment in game threads and haven’t on other blogs as well, partly because of the knee-jerk nature of in-game commenting and partly because, well, I’m a Luddite and don’t have a smart phone or computer. Perhaps it’s more challenging during West Coast trips, when folks who are staying up late to watch games may have fuses that are a bit shorter than usual? Not that I’m a mind-reader, or an in-game poster, mind you.

    On another note, extra points to sec3 for the “rhetorical flatulence” line.

  37. Eric - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Wanted to bring back up my question about whether Morse was plunked intentionally, and some of the responses:

    adcwonk – Jun 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM
    Doubt it — it was an 0-2 count, and Barrett’s a rookie.

    Yeah…it’s the perfect cover.

    NatsLady – Jun 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM
    Yeah, I don’t know. I looked at the graphs. He had excellent control except that one pitch… Just that one pitch…(I put the graphs in my game post which will be up later). I’ve often wondered how the clubhouse felt about Morse.

    Exactly. And, it wasn’t like it grazed him, it was DIRECTLY at his rib cage. Here are some quotes from a USA Today article on June 1 that might have been behind it:
    “I just wish we could have given it everything we had, but we didn’t.”

    He’s obviously referring to Stras, but some of the other pitchers might take exception to that phrasing.

    Then, there’s this bit:

    “I remember talking to guys like Mark DeRosa, and they said, ‘This could be your one and only shot.’ It made sense what they were saying to me.”

    Morse made sure to give himself another opportunity.

    “I’m not only proving what I can do,” Morse says, “but showing them they made the right choice. I’m playing for a Hall of Fame manager on a team that knows how to win, wants to win again, and has what it takes to win.

    Again, one can read that in a way that is unkind commentary on the Nats and their commitment to winning.

    And then this from the WaPo:
    ““Really?” Morse said. “Aw man. I still got it here. It’s incredible. You’ll see. It’s something I’ll always have with the people of D.C. But you know? It’s to another level here. It’s a whole other level.””

    Now he’s saying his new fans are better?

    Put it all together, and I think it’s quite possible Barrett was sent out there as a representative for the 2012 Nats.

  38. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    From the end of the last thread; any insights, Mostly-Knowing Ones?

    whitennerdy898 – Jun 10, 2014 at 1:52 AM
    Maybe one of you scorekeepers out there can answer this for me: In the 7th, Span and Frandsen were Vogelsong’s batters after Kontos came into the game. Werth scored Span. Frandsen got thrown out at home on Zim’s grounder, then Werth scored. The way I see it, Werth was Kontos’ batter, and his run should be charged to Kontos, not Vogelsong. The official box score gives Vogelsong 6 ER and Kontos 3, but I have it 5 and 4. What’s the deal?

    A good question. Here’s the relevant PxP:

    Top 7
    1.Denard Span doubles (19) on a line drive to center fielder Gregor Blanco.
    2.Kevin Frandsen singles on a ground ball to left fielder Tyler Colvin. Denard Span to 3rd.

    Pitching Change: George Kontos replaces Ryan Vogelsong, batting 9th.

    3.Jayson Werth singles on a line drive to right fielder Hunter Pence. Denard Span scores. Kevin Frandsen to 2nd.
    4.Adam LaRoche walks. Kevin Frandsen to 3rd. Jayson Werth to 2nd.
    5.Ryan Zimmerman grounds into a force out, shortstop Brandon Crawford to catcher Buster Posey. Kevin Frandsen out at home. Jayson Werth scores. Adam LaRoche to 3rd. Ryan Zimmerman advances to 1st, on a missed catch error by first baseman Michael Morse.

    The only thing I can think of, and if correct this is scorekeeping news to me, is that Werth’s run, being a continuation of the play, gets charged to Vogelsong as if it were Frandsen, but that does seem counter-intuitive, especially since there was only one out (Frandsen) at the time, and Werth would eventually have scored anyway–all the runs were earned.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Werth would eventually have scored anyway–all the runs were earned.

      And that’s another thing — Werth scored and LaRoche went to third on Posey’s throw to first. Since the run is earned, the OS must have had him advancing on the throw, not the error charged to Morse (which should have been on Posey, but n/m), and that seems unlikely.

      Maybe the box score is just wrong.

  39. chaz11963 - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    The Nats, when healthy, have an offense that is one of the best in the NL and the Nats when healthy have a pitching staff that might very well be the best in the NL. When healthy a team like that can get through periodic hitting slumps or poor pitching performance and still be a winning team; if one is hot when the other is cold they will still be good.

    We will need to see how much of this offense is unsustainable and how much is our new reality that will be carried forward.

  40. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    “@TBrownYahoo: Source: MLB will suspend Machado for five games. Machado plans to appeal.”

    I guess his apology didn’t sway Torre.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Just five? He got off light, for my taste.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        He took full responsibility or it would have been more. Probably bargains to only 4 games.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        “@AdamKilgoreWP: Machado is appealing five games? Here’s how MLB should respond: “After reviewing the film, we’ve decided to change the suspension to eight.””

      • veejh - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Machado was completely out of line. He has a little growing up to do.

      • Dave - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        I agree that five games seems about three games too few. He threw a baseball bat at a position player on the other team. Not much of a signal being sent by this punishment.

      • veejh - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        Dave….even worse, hitting Norris in the back of the head, not once, but twice on his follow through.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        “After reviewing the film, we’ve decided to change the suspension to eight. You wanna go for ten? Keep talking.”

      • natsjackinfl - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        He got off light. And it really ticks me off that he’s appealing.

        The apology came after seeing how the whole thing looked after the fact. I don’t care how sincere he seemed. He will be judged by his on field actions from here forward.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        (after being conned) “But he had such an open, honest face!”

        (reply) “Well he wouldn’t make much of a con man with a dishonest face, now would he?”

      • unkyd59 - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        How many would Bryce have gotten, for the same stunt? Making two points, here, one- I can see double the punishment for our Kid, because folks just love to teach him lessons, and two- Bryce would never pull that stunt, because he’s too classy.

  41. stevenaismith - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    “Denard Span is slugging .565 during this run. That’s 2 points higher than Ryan Braun’s career slugging percentage.”

    Don’t understand why you are emphasizing “career,” as if a sample size of 10 games is more impressive than an 8-season career.

    Lonnie Chisenhall had a SLG of 3.000 in yesterday’s game. That’s 2,310 points higher than Babe Ruth’s CAREER slugging percentage!!!1

    • Sonny G 10 - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      I had the same reaction.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Mark knows better than most about small sample size. I think the comparison was that Span is producing at Braun level. That’s what I got from there.

  42. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    So, does this constitute “eating face”?

  43. Jeff - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Be cool everybody
    Long season
    As that song goes in west side
    Story. Be cool
    Meanwhile we await health in arms
    On farm

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      We real cool. We
      Left school. We

      Lurk late. We
      Strike straight. We

      Sing sin. We
      Thin gin. We

      Jazz June. We
      Die soon.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        I stay cool, and dig all jive,
        That’s the way I stay alive.
        My motto,
        as I live and learn,
        is
        Dig and be dug
        In return.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Again, no telling where this comment ends up, but I’ll take a flyer, for sec3’s waxing poetic.

      [snaps fingers in appreciation]

      Could I get an Irish coffee here? Wait, I don’t drink. Okay, could I get an It’s-It here?

  44. natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    No telling where this ends up in the thread, my earlier posts having traveled up-thread a fair distance (thanks ever so, Word Press). Some random musings after watching the game (feel free to scroll past):

    Wait. Buster has a goatee? Why was I not informed? Love the kid, but I didn’t know he could even grow one.

    What is with Morse’s shiny arm, as observed by FP?

    Loved the late-game commentary on rookie vs. veteran seagulls, and how the veterans weren’t lazy but rather conserving their energy. If only FP would have thrown in a “What do you want me to do, dive for it?” it would have been perfect. (You still have three more games to get that in there. :-))

    Oh, and the game was pretty awesome, too. Well done, boys, well done.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was gulls on the ferry to Sausalito.

      The birds follow the boat as it moves, and beg for food from the passengers. One little boy, about 8 or 9, was standing on the stern, totally captivated by the gulls as they kept pace with the boat, matching speed and coming in slowly to take tidbits out of people’s hands, jockeying amongst themselves for position. I was standing a bit more forward, in a good position to see the boy, holding a hot dog up near his left shoulder as he was paying all his attention to the gulls in front of him, while one gull s…l…o…w…l…y maneuvered in place behind him — all this at probably 20 knots or so, some pretty good flying — and like a pickpocket, slipped the hot dog out of the bun from right behind the kid’s head, and then took off with it. Kid never noticed a thing until he went to take a bite of it, and his jaw literally dropped and went slack as his eyes got big and he stared at the empty bun that he had been holding the whole time. Hilarious.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        That’s hilarious! Maybe the gull was on a low-carb diet.

        Oh, wait, that reminds me, what is up with those seagull hats?

        “One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was gulls on the ferry to Sausalito.”

        [Quoted for truth in Word Press thread continuity.]

  45. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Yeah, we’re going to need a bigger post.

  46. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I am really surprised that he is appealing his suspension. Serving a week of suspension isn’t going to cost your team playoffs so he definitely should have just accepted the punishment after yesterday’s apology. Now I don’t feel so great about the apology he made.

  47. veejh - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Not even sure why Mark was comparing Span to a cheater.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      That’s a fair, if a bit harsh, point, actually.

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Ichiro’s Secret

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Fascinating! Thanks, Faraz.

  49. Joe Seamhead - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    OKAY, now I’m convinced that whoever is running this Word Press program has slipped on a banana peel and bumped their head.

  50. chazzmichaelmichaelzz - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    I was at all three games live in San Diego. That is the most dominant Nats team I’ve ever seen . I sat behind homeplate for the Sat and Sun game. On Sat, Cashner was really good, but the Nats put together really good at bats in that first inning. That pick-off from 3rd was a backbreaker. Also, Soriano was nasty in the 9th. One bad pitch, but every other pitch made the San Diego batters look dumb. On Sunday, Zimmerman was absolutely filthy. Slider was unhittable.

    It was fun (sans one Soriano pitch).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 48 --
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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.
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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