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Nats score early, hang on late to move into 1st place

Jun 18, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT

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Any fears that the weekend slump that befuddled the Nationals would carry over into arguably their most-important homestand of the season to date were erased five batters into the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night. Three hits off talented Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, two of them RBI doubles, gave the Nats an early 2-0 lead and left everyone in a better mood.

And even though they had to endure through a torturous top of the eighth that saw Tyler Clippard give four runs back and move the tying runner into scoring position, by night’s end the Nationals could rest easy. They beat Houston, 6-5, opened this homestand on the right foot and even managed to move themselves into first place in the NL East by night’s end.

Not that anyone truly was worried in the wake of that weekend sweep in St. Louis and a 4-game losing streak.

“I mean, it’s baseball,” third baseman Anthony Rendon said. “You’re going to have a series like that. That’s just why you’re supposed to have a short-term memory and move onto the next game. We’ve got plenty more games to play.”

There are 93 games left on the schedule, an eternity in baseball, but the six games on the Nationals’ docket this week are particularly significant. This two-game series against the up-and-coming Astros leads into a 4-game showdown with the Braves this weekend, with first place in the division up for grabs.

So the fact the Nats took a positive step right from the get-go Tuesday night was encouraging. After being held to four total runs over their previous four games, they enjoyed an offensive explosion of sorts, scoring four runs off Keuchel and then adding two more off reliever Darin Downs to open up what appeared to be a comfortable 6-1 lead.

“I wish we were going to score six runs every game,” said left fielder Ryan Zimmerman, who drove in two of them. “I can tell you right now, we’re going to have three or four more games a couple more times this year where we score one or two runs. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year, and trust that it will come around.”

Rendon’s second RBI double of the night, a 2-run rope into the left-field corner, gave the Nationals their biggest lead of the night. Little did they realize at the time they’d need every one of those insurance runs.

After an atypically erratic start from Tanner Roark — one run allowed, but seven hits and two walks surrendered in only five innings — manager Matt Willams was forced to turn to his bullpen for four innings of work to close this one out. The formula has worked remarkably well all season, but this time there was a bump in the road.

Clippard, owner of a 1.23 ERA and zero earned runs allowed since April 11 when he took the mound for the top of the eighth, quickly turned that 5-run lead into a nailbiter. Five hits brought home four runs, Jose Altuve’s double trimming the deficit to 6-5 and giving Williams no choice but to pull his previously dominant setup man with two outs and the tying run on second.

“He had the ability to go get the guys and strike the guys out when he needed to, he just left the fastball up to Altuve,” Williams said of Clippard, who hadn’t pitched in six days. “If he gets that out, then it’s one of those outings where, OK, he gave up a run and wasn’t sharp.”

Aaron Barrett wound up cleaning up the mess, getting George Springer to line out to center, and setting the stage for Rafael Soriano to toss a scoreless ninth, earn his 14th save and secure the Nationals’ victory.

Moments earlier, the Braves lost for the fifth time in seven days, opening the door for the Nats to leapfrog them and take over the top spot in the NL East.

Whether those standings look the same by the end of this critical week remains to be seen. The Nationals know only they must continue to play this kind of baseball every night if they hope to find themselves atop the mountain when it really counts down the road.

“I don’t think you’re ever supposed to think about [the standings],” Rendon said. “At least I don’t. Just take it day-by-day, and one game at a time. And if we come out on top in the end, hooray for us.”

  1. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Whatever else may be said, it was an excellent night for baseball. Perfect weather, forecast notwithstanding.

    • therealjohnc - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Really? In section 311 it was f’n hot & humid. Making a 3:41 (or whatever) 9 inning game featuring a Clippard meltdown to seem like torture. Give me 70 degrees and no humidity to qualify as a “perfect night for baseball”

      As a friend of mine noted, the one solace that can be taken on a night like tonight is that, in another month, the weather will be MUCH worse :-)

      • sjm308 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:52 AM

        Have to agree with john here, we got no breeze in 308 & we were dying in that 8th inning when there was a pitching change by Bo. Never did figure it out. I think the first inning took almost 30 min.

        Go Nats!

      • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

        I also agree with John. But, sofa apparently “walks the stadium” saying hi to folks (more on that a bit further down this thread), so perhaps that helps? (Or maybe he doesn’t sweat like the rest of us?)

        308, John, I wish I had realized you guys were there — I was in 309 with Mrs Wonk, son-Wonk, the Wonkling, and two of her friends!

      • dcwx61 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        +1
        312…no breeze for most of the game

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Granted people’s taste in weather varies, to say the least. One of the reasons I like to watch the games while walking the concourse is the better circulation up there, as already noted.

      I do sweat, btw, Wonk. My body does seem to be very good at cooling itself. It actually helps to keep moving, too.

  2. Sonny G 10 - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    I was furious with Matt Williams for leaving Clip in too long. When the Astros got three base hits in a row and scored a run I begged MW to pull Clip before he gave the game away. He didn’t and sure enough Clip about gave the game away. I’m thinking three hits in a row, Clip isn’t on tonight. Get him out of there, but noooooo, MW leaaves him in. Man I’m still pissed about that.

    • secretwasianman - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:46 AM

      Totally agree. No reason for that mess. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that Soriano puts a guy on than the final out is back at the warning track. You think your pissed now??

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:31 AM

        The location looked good to the batters,too. They were wrong. Soriano gets results with his pitching, yet brings out the bitching. Some here say Clippard should be the closer, some say Storen, others yet already say Barrett. Rizzo and Williams still say Soriano. He’s been overall great this year and has been overall very good since he got here. Sure he’s blown a few and he’ll blow some more, but he is the best closer on this team. And he scares the crap out of all of us. Love it.It’s part of baseball.

      • bowdenball - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        We hit several balls to the warning track too. If “almost” HRs counted as HRs we would have put up four in the 1st on a Zimm 3R HR instead of it just being a run-scoring double, and the meltdown in the 8th would have been inconsequential.

    • NatsLady - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:20 AM

      I agree and I’m a TOTAL Clip fan & have seen him get out of these messes many a time. It’s hot, he doesn’t have it, just bring Barrett in and call it a night.

      • rmoore446 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        +1

    • rayvil01 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      What may have entered into MW thinking is that Barrett has not done well with inherited runners. Last Thursday in SF being the latest example. Got the out last night. But with 2 on it may have made MW a little gun shy.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Yet FP gave MW player of the game for his excellent management of the bullpen. Is that crazy?

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    NL, you have any Clippard shirts or t-shirts? Not official ones. Any custom made? Thanks!

  4. ArVAFan - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Good morning to all (and it is a good morning, as long as there’s a W from the night before, and a game tonight). Can’t ask for much more: I could ask for weather that didn’t remind me a little bit too much of New Orleans . . . but I wouldn’t get it.

    A special good morning to Sofa & Wonk–good to meet you last night. See you here, and at the Park.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Likewise!

  5. Hiram Hover - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Let’s not let all the agonizing about Clippard distract from the real news here:

    1. Nats hitters take it to the ballyhooed Keuchel!
    2. Nats win!!
    2. Nats in first place!!!

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      And the last bit of news:

      4. 8:15am is too early for me to be making numbered lists!!!!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      Im all about the Nats winning… And hopefully, tht was his bad start and he will finally be lights out against Atlanta, since we know that he will face him…

  6. tcostant - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    When the Nationals see the Astros again in 3 years, I bet they will be a really, really good team.

    • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      I suspect you may be right. Nice to see all these up-and-coming young talent for Bo — in the other division! ;-)

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        In the other league.

  7. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    I had a nightmare last night that the Nats scored 7 runs in the first inning… Gio gave up 8 runs in the 2nd inning.. and we scored 1 more run in the 7th inning…

    To lose to the Astros: 9-8… on a Altuve 9th inning HR…

    • scmargenau - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Knock on wood!

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Nobody commenting on Soriano’s velo? He hit season highs on Velo with a top speed just under 96 on the 4 seamer. Where did that come from?

    Normally I would be complaining about leaving a reliever in too long but I think the only question was do you pull Clip for Barrett to face Altuve and I think MW was in a tough situation there. Altuve was already 3-4 at that point. Clip was pitching better after the 3rd batter in that inning. If Span or Desi gets to that Fowler blooper then it’s inning over with a 6-2 lead.

    • jd - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      Ghost,

      Totally agree.

      Clippard has been lights out since early April. His pedigree shows that he can get out of tough situations. In the Nats pecking order Barrett is below Clippard by a couple of notches at least for the time being. You give your proven studs more rope than you do rookies.

      If Clippard was walking the house or falling behind every hitter that another story, that wasn’t the case last night.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Here’s the 8th inning for Clippard. As I wrote as it was unfolding he pitched BP to batters 1, 2, and 3. Then he starts to pitch like the game is on the line and K’s Carter and Presley. The score is 6-2 when Fowler steps in and hit that blooper.

    It was like bad Clip facing batters 1-3 and good Clip facing batters 4-6 and a super hot batter in Altuve that possibly nobody gets.

    1.Jason Castro singles on a sharp line drive to center fielder Denard Span.
    2.Matt Dominguez doubles (12) on a line drive to left fielder Ryan Zimmerman. Jason Castro to 3rd.
    3.Jonathan Villar singles on a line drive to Denard Span. Jason Castro scores. Matt Dominguez to 3rd.
    4.Chris Carter strikes out swinging.
    5.Alex Presley strikes out swinging.
    6.Dexter Fowler singles on a soft fly ball to left fielder Ryan Zimmerman, deflected by center fielder Denard Span. Matt Dominguez scores. Jonathan Villar to 3rd.
    7.Jose Altuve doubles (23) on a sharp line drive to left fielder Ryan Zimmerman. Jonathan Villar scores. Dexter Fowler scores.

    • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      Good points on your last two comments.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Span was playing pretty deep, came in almost to Desi’s area, but even with his speed couldn’t get there. I saw this as a perfect example as to why Span shouldn’t generally play any deeper then he normally does, though in that situation it was correct to have him playing deeper. Desi probably had a better chance to catch that ball than Span, but it looked like he thought Span might get there and wisely Desi didn’t try. Zimmerman did a good job of backing up the play.some bloopers just fall in there.
      http://m.mlb.com/video/v33807815/houwsh-fowler-bloops-an-rbi-single-with-two-outs/?c_id=mlb

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        It’s the whole theory of BABIP. Put a bat on ball and let luck work.

  10. adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Personal Comments from last night’s game

    – My 19-yr-old daughter, “the Wonkling.” had been away all year — returning just last Thursday. The Nats were 0-4 since she got back. And so, despite having her wisdom teeth out on Monday, insisted that we go to last night’s game. I got on StubHub and found 4 tix in 309 for $11/ea which came with a free parking pass to Lot P (that’s something like a $35 pass, no?), and two more tix in 409 for $6/ea.

    – Wonkling makes stuff happen. (Such as, getting her family to the game last night). So, we weren’t surprised to find out that by the 7th inning she (and her three cohorts) were two rows behind the Nats dugout, appeared on the big-screen dancing between innings, and, as the game ended, got a ball tossed her way. Typical night for the Wonkling. Oh, and you all should know that her presence is why the Nats stopped their winning streak. The Nats apparently just needed some personal intervention.

    – I got to meet Sofa, who paid up on a beer owed from a thread yesterday! He said that was a first for him — it was a first for me, too. I ordered a dark beer for Mrs Wonk, and he went to the stand got a cold one, and delivered it to her. So sweet!

    – And then Sofa took me to meet ArVAFan. I was great to meet her. She was telling me how great the facilities at Viera are. I told her that I’m (hoping to) retire in 2 years, so going to spring training is on my post-retirement bucket list. She said, “we’ll see you there!”

    natsfan1a – Jun 17, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Having had my own wisdom teeth out many years ago, I must say this: “respect.”

    Yep — she puts the “fan” in “fanatic” ;-)

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      I got my wisdom teeth pulled (all 4 at 1 time) and I looked like a chipmunk for a whole week. It was so embarrassing…

      • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        Yeah, she also got all four out at once, and still is a bit chipmunk-like. I was amazed she insisted on going (and, actually, organized the trip, picking up her friends, etc. We live in NoVa, but Mrs Wonk and I work in DC. I walked to the game, while Wonkling braved crummy traffic to drive in (she had decided to go too late to take Metro)).

        Ahh . . . youth . . . .

    • scmargenau - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Awesome story!

      I think my 10 year old is a “wonkling” in training. She also makes things happen, 10 going on 21. Oy

      • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        ;-)

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Thanks for the kind words, Wonk. Great to meet you and The Family Wonk, and be able to put faces–albeit a chipmunk face–to names.

  11. adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    manassasnatsfan – Jun 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Games like this make me wonder. Why with a bullpen that is suppose to be number 1 can this happen.

    Really? Shall we point out the obvious? That even the best bullpen in baseball blows leads from time to time.

    And what do you mean “supposed to” — the Nats bulllpen *is*, by any objective measure, one of the best in baseball.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Collectively the best by ERA, Inherited runners %, and best “slapstick” antics.

    • Doc - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      Right on adcwonk!

      “…make me wonder…”—make you wonder what manassanatsfan? Totally mindless expression!

      Get a grip, it’s baseball, and the law of averages. Clip hadn’t pitched in 6 days, and was probably a little rusty for a guy used to pitching every 2nd or 3rd day.

      Makes me wonder why there isn’t more appreciation for a guy that had gone 2+ months without allowing a run!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      The issue with all of the relievers last night looked to be too much rest…. Idk when the last time any of them pitched… I am hoping that Gio comes out after 6 so the rest of the bp can get some work.. don’t need anyone rusty since we are about to face the braves…

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Well by my observation all of our relievers other than Clip did a fine job last night, and as several have pointed out, Clippard hadn’t pitched in 6 days so yes he may have been rusty. Lets not forget how Clippard has otherwise performed for much of this season, like one of the best set up relievers in the game as he is.

        I have no idea why MNF seems to want to throw the entire BP under the bus based on an individual bad performance in one game.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        I’d be shocked if Gio goes more than 6 tonight. I’m sure the Nats would be delighted with 6 innings out of Gio.

  12. adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Some game observations

    – As Ghost already pointed out — Soriano threw some fireballs last night! I had no idea he could still throw 96!

    – Every reliever is going to have a bad night. Isn’t it awesome when it happens on a night when there is already a 5-run lead, so we get the win anyway? (that’s actually a serious comment). As Mark pointed out, Clip hadn’t given up an earned run in two months (!). That’s 25 consucturive appearances with zero ER. BAA of .177

    – Rendon and RZim were *on fire*. They were really locked in last night.

    – Keuchel is a really really good pitcher this year. In his prior 7 games with the ‘Stros, he was 6-1, ERA of 1.33, and BAA of .195. Before tonights game he was *leading* the AL in WAR for pitchers, 6th in ERA, 4th in WHIP — that’s seriously good.

    – You gotta give Roark his props. From the first batter it was apparent he didn’t have his stuff — but he really “pitched” and, despite getting in trouble most innings, escaped with giving up only a single run in 5 innings. That’s a gritty performance. Bottom line: his ERA for the season is 2.85 — and that happens to be the best on the Nats among the starters. Of JZ, Stras, Fister, and Roark, it’s Roark that has the best ERA thus far. Did anyone in the world see that coming? (Anyone recall that in 53 IP last year he had an ERA of 1.51?) Grantland.com notes “his 74 mph curveball produces a 51.41 percent swing rate, good for third in the majors, and drops an impressive 9.71 inches before reaching home plate. It is absolutely gorgeous.” (link)

    – Nats fielding was pretty slick, and helped Roark out with some nifty DP’s.

    – RZ’s arm wasn’t tested in LF, but, umm, I saw him bounce two throws to cutoff men. I’m not saying his arm is shot, but I haven’t seen him make any decent throws yet (not that he’s had to). It bears watching. Houston did hit a short pop fly that RZ ran in on to catch with a guy on 3b. If I were Houston, I would have considered trying to score. Any decent throw would have gotten the runner (which is obviously why they didn’t send him), but I’m not convinced yet that RZ can make even that throw. I’m not saying he can’t — but I haven’t seen that he can yet.

    – Houston had 14 hits, 5 of them with RISP, and scored 5 runs. Nats had 9 hites, 3 of them with RISP, and got 6 runs.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      +1 on the many positive observations.

      It would be hard to tell from all the complaints in this thread that the Nats actually won last night.

      C’mon, people!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        True. Nats score 4 or more runs, and you have to like their chances.

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        True enough GOSM, I think last nights’ game makes them now 31-2 when scoring four or more.

    • David Proctor - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      He held Villar to a single with a strong-ish throw to second base. Not the strongest, but it was accurate and had enough on it to do the job.

  13. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    My main criticism with MW has been his “hook” on his starters. Team W’s have to come before pitcher W’s and pitcher stats.

    Perfect example last night was the Top of the 5th. Altuve singles, Springer walks. Singleton up to bat. I would’ve yanked Roark. I think MW got lucky and Roark got Singleton. Roark had nothing left in the tank.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Wanted him to qualify for the win. Clubhouse move.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Meh… I think the team win is more important.. or it should be…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Yes, you are correct and if Singleton gets a hit there, you might be looking at a 5 game losing streak.

      • rayvil01 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I undetstand. But, that’s the code. I’ve seen it many times over the years. You could see he wanted to pull him…but he risks “losing” players pulling SPs at 4.2 innings. DJ should have pulled Gio in Game Five…same thing. I’m not saying I agree with it…but that’s the standard protocol.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      +1

    • jd - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Ghost,

      Again. You are exactly right. The notion of pitcher’s W and L’s is slowly disappearing from the landscape in any event. Just about everyone understand’s that it’s a pretty meaningless stat. As a manager this should never enter your decision making process. We’re not in the 80’s any more.

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        There’s a perfect example of that in today’s matchup in SD – Felix Hernandez vs. Andrew Cashner.

        Hernandez has a 2.29 ERA, Cashner has a 2.47 ERA.

        Hernandez is 8-2.

        Cashner…..is 2-6.

        What has always bothered me is when a pitcher leaves the game losing, say, 1-0. The bullpen gives up three runs to make it 4-0. The pticher’s team now scores three to make it 4-3, which ends up being the final score. Why does the pitcher who gave up only one run get the loss, when it was the bullpen that gave up the runs that cost the game? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the rules…..I just don’t understand the rules, ya dig?

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Ghost,

      You may recall a similar incident in a game in Baltimore in 2011 when Jason Marquis was pitching. As I remember Marquis was pulled after 4 innings I think with a slight lead but lucky to be ahead as the Orioles had run themselves into a couple of outs and he was getting hit pretty hard. When he got into the dugout he was screaming and yelling at Riggleman for pulling him and not getting the chance to get a W for his record.

      I’m not sure if that was a contract year for Marquis or not but I think it was and he wanted that W-L record to look pretty good for the next contract.

      • jd - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        That’s why Marquis has never been a winner in my books.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        That was the game the Nats came back and scored something like 12 runs in the bottom half of the fifth, which didn’t soothe JM’s disposition any.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Keuchel had a 6 start road winning streak snapped last night and a 1.42 ERA on the road this season before last night.

  15. rayvil01 - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    The single biggest improvement in this team from last year is holding runners. Amazing how much better they are this year. Houston is a pretty good running club. They were behind all night which may have held them back. But they had 14 hits…on base all night and never tried one steal. Massively better.

    • ehay2k - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      +1

  16. ehay2k - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Good game to take in from the comfort of an air-conditioned TV room! Amazing we could lose 4 in a row and then with one win, are back on top. I didn’t even bother coming to NI to read/post comments over the last few days because I knew what I’d see. It may have been mentioned on another thread, but according to an MLB survey, Nats fans fall into the “Miserable Marriage” category, defined in the WaPo artcle as: “Washington tends to vary downward, and that’s where we got the ‘miserable marriage’ — they are a little bit on the unhappy side, fairly stable but tend to go towards depression when things happen rather than moving upward.”

    Link:

    Perhaps it’s a byproduct of primarily being an NFL fan base for so many years, but to me, Nats fans take each game, sometimes even an at-bat, way too seriously. As long as the Nats hang around at or near the top of the division, as they work out their injuries, things will be OK. 96 games left, and the team is improving.

    • ehay2k - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      try this again: Link:

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Thx for the link, ehay. I’ve thought of my own fanhood as being like a late-life 3rd marriage of convenience for years now. First was the Cubs, but I was way too young and it didn’t last. I lived in SF for many years, and that really was The One; I still miss it, to be honest. But two years overseas and then twenty here–the first ten with no NL team at all–and the difficulty inherent in following a team three time-zones away, ended it. Long distance marriages with long separations, and all that.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        If we had had MLB-TV in 1995, things might have been different.

  17. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Watched part of the game last night and the rest via DVR (remodeling schedule makes me get up even earlier than normal cat feeding schedule). Nice to see that the good guys won.

    On the link, interesting piece but imho lookin two years of social media data for “positive, negative, and neutral” words doesn’t give a good representation of an entire fanbase. First off, not all fans are on the Tweeter. (Can you say “small sample size.”) Second, who decides which words fit into which of the three categories. Third, what if one of the words is used in a “compound” post. “Went to a Nats game, traffic was awful.” Is that a negative on the team? Anyway, just another natsfan1a “research” rant. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      May be a case of “Dewey beats Truman” in the sampling, 1a, I agree. OTOH, they are comparing tweets team to team, so bias in tweeters vs non-tweeters should be minimized, unless that bias varies from one team to another … which it probably does, given that the whole point of the paper is the differences in fanbase reactions among teams. I wonder how/if the numbers change between teams in the same market, e.g., Chicago, NY, the Bay Area? Ooh, are Canadians in Toronto really more polite?

  18. natsfan1a - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    um, “looking at” two years…off to get some coffee now…

  19. micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    I dunno about Clip, it would have been loss number 6 or 7 on him.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      How do you figure? 6, or 7?

    • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      I dunno about Clip, it would have been loss number 6 or 7 on him.

      What don’t you know about Clip?

      Apparently this:

      Clip hadn’t given up an earned run in two months (!). That’s 25 consucturive appearances with zero ER and BAA of .177

      Overall he’s pitched in more games than any other Nat, and has an ERA, even after last night, of 2.40

      (And his W-L record is 4-2, what is this “6 or 7″ to which you refer?)

      • micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        there were 3 games in April and at least 2 in may that the nats were up in the 8t inning and he either allowed the tying runs or go ahead runs. this is a fact, not an opinion

      • adcwonk - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        Do you look it up, or are you making it up?

        He blew 3 saves in April, and he didn’t allow any runs at all, earned or unearned in all of May. Or in June, for that matter, until last night.

        That’s pretty darn good considering that he’s appeared in 33 games.

        Those are actual facts. You can look it up here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=clippty01&t=p&year=

  20. micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    minus Harper, Nats will be at 95%. for Braves series at home, while Braves are still more shorthanded than us. Nats MUST win at least 2 in this series, if they do not, then are simply over rated

    • RPrecupjr - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      How do you figure a) 95% and b) the Barves are more shorthanded?

      IMHO, if you are missing two of your starting eight (Harper and Ramos) that’s 25% down, or 75% healthy.

      The Barves have every starting player healthy, they’re missing some pitching…..which they’ve been missing all year. Each one can only play one game in the series, whereas Harper and Ramos will miss all four and would be playing all four (Ok, Ramos maybe only three)

      Also, at this writing the Barves are down 10-5 to ther Phillies going into the bottom of the 8th.

      • micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        forgot about Ramos, but still, look at what is missing from Braves in terms of starting pitching.

        bottom line, it is time for Nats to win a series verse Braves, no more excuses

  21. micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Nats would have a chance to go 4 plus games by next Monday

  22. micksback1 - Jun 18, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    just looking at April blown games by Clip, 4/4, Nats lose 2-1 to Braves after leading 1-0 in 8th, Clip blew that one, 4/12 losing 7-6 to Braves after Nats led 6-4, clip again choked, and finally, 4/21, Clip blows lead verse angels, nats lose 4-2 after leading 2-1 in 8th

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 0.5
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's 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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