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ZZZZZZZZZZimmerman saves the day for Nats in 16th

Jun 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

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If you couldn’t stay up til the final out was recorded at 1:34 a.m. EDT — or if you simply gave up after your TV inexplicably switched to a tummy tuck infomercial in the 14th inning — you missed a heck of a ballgame in Milwaukee last night/this morning.

There were highlight-reel catches all over the place, gutsy managerial decisions, scoreless inning after scoreless inning churned out by the Nationals bullpen and ultimately the kind of late-night dramatics only Ryan Zimmerman can provide.

Oh, and we were one inning away from seeing Adam LaRoche pitching in a major-league ballgame. Blame Zim for denying everyone that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

LaRoche surely was willing to concede his shot at taking the mound in exchange for Zimmerman’s 2-run homer in the top of the 16th, the blast that propelled the Nationals to a 4-2 victory over the Brewers in the franchise’s longest game since it arrived in D.C. in 2005.

It was Zimmerman’s first home run since April 11, the day before he broke his right thumb in Atlanta. Heck of a time to snap out of that funk.

For all the attention thrust upon Zimmerman’s defensive abilities (or lack thereof) and what position he’ll end up playing once Bryce Harper returns from the DL next week, there has been little discussion of the slugger’s lack of production at the plate. Since rejoining the club June 3, Zimmerman had been hitting a scant .184 with a paltry .513 OPS.

Manager Matt Williams, though, said he liked some of the swings Zimmerman had been taking in recent days. And sure enough, those good swings eventually translated into an enormous hit just when the Nats needed it most.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Zimmerman went and made a spectacular, diving catch in shallow left-center field in the bottom of the 16th, helping preserve the 2-run lead he created. Look, nobody has ever questioned his ability to catch a baseball, no matter the position. Whether he ends up back at third base, in left field or at first base, he’ll remain one of the most-gifted glove men in the sport. His future home on the diamond depends solely on his ability to throw.

There was so much more to last night’s game, though. Let’s run through it all…

Anthony Rendon hit yet another game-tying homer late. The Nationals trailed 2-1 in the top of the eighth when Rendon smacked a pitch from Milwaukee’s Will Smith over the fence in right-center. It was Rendon’s 12 homer of the season; seven of them have either given the Nats the lead or tied the game, as this one did.

Ross Detwiler tossed four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. With the game going to extra innings and with only short relievers (Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Rafael Soriano) left unused, Williams had no choice but to extract as much as he possibly could out of Detwiler. The left-hander responded with his best performance of the season, putting up four consecutive zeroes on 46 pitches (nearly every single one a fastball), all the while knowing one mistake could end the game on the spot.

The bullpen as a whole tossed 10 scoreless innings. After Jordan Zimmermann departed before the seventh, Jerry Blevins took over and kept the Brewers from pushing a run across the plate. Then Aaron Barrett did the same in the eighth. Then Craig Stammen did it in the ninth. Then Detwiler churned out his four innings. Then Storen pitched the 14th, Clippard pitched the 15th and Soriano pitched the 16th. Not one of them allowed a run. The Nationals also boasted baseball’s best bullpen (2.47 ERA) entering this game. All they did was pad those stats even more, lowering that ERA to 2.36.

Denard Span and Jayson Werth made back-to-back, game-saving catches in the 14th. With a man on first and one out in the bottom of the 14th, Span ranged way toward right field, leaping to snag Elian Herrera’s blast up against the wall. If the balls lands in the field of play, the lead runner comes all the way around from first and the Brewers celebrate in the middle of the diamond while the Nationals trudge off. Then moments later, Werth came charging in and made a shoestring, sliding catch of Jean Segura’s sinking liner. A base hit there might not have ended the game, but Werth’s catch ensured the Nats would have another chance in the 15th.

Adam LaRoche very nearly made his big-league pitching debut. Had Zimmerman not homered in the top of the 16th, or had Soriano given up the tying run, the Nationals would’ve been out of pitchers. Williams’ choice at that point: Burn up a starter, or use a position player. It never came to it, but Williams told reporters afterward he would have pitched LaRoche in the 17th. The son of former major-league hurler Dave LaRoche, Adam LaRoche has long made it known he wants to pitch a game before his career is over. The situation very nearly presented itself last night, and that would’ve been must-see-TV if it happened.

110 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    I can’t believe you, Mark. I stayed up until the end, couldn’t get to sleep from being so excited, but just got woken up. My wife called it quits after nine last night and went to sleep. So when she got up just now, I woke up and told her all about the game. So after 3 hours of sleep, I’m all awake and blathering on about the game again.Then I look on here and see that you are doing the same thing, Mr.Zuckerman. Me? I’m calling off work today.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    Also, the game blog was close to being quite civilized last night/this morning. And mostly coherent .I enjoyed it and was glad to be a part of it.

  3. micksback1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    forgive me oh Mark as i went to sleep after 11 innings.

  4. micksback1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    of course those damn Braves had to win, 3 up would have been sweet, but 2 up aint bad

    • lawrence - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Nats would be 4 up now if they’d won Friday night. They’d be 42-34, Atlanta would be 38-38.

      • lawrence - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Never mind – I thought you were addressing the Rendon late inning home run observation. :)

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Dang, I don’t think I bracketed the DVR for long enough. Will have to check on that. Sounds like it was an awesome game, tummy tuck commercials aside. Funny, was just reading a piece on LaRoche in the latest Nats freebie mag, and it mentioned how he pitched in high school. That would be something to see! But I’m glad that RZ saved the day.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:42 AM

      Nope, only bracketed to 12:30. And the morning replay is the O’s, so no love there. Oh, well. Maybe it will be run on Nats Classics some day.

  6. Another_Sam - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    Great fun to wake up to this news. And how about those Wahoos?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM


  7. sjm308 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Went to sleep after 10 innings.
    Just great to wake up and see these results.
    Have to be amazed at what the bullpen has done the last several games. When was the last time someone scored on our pen?
    Lineup today should be interesting.
    Have to think Werth is going to get a deserved day off, certainly Lobaton and probably Espinosa as well.
    Do you move Frandsen to 3rd or 2nd?, with Rendon staying put or moving.
    Could they bring up another pitcher and dfa Dobbs earlier than thought? Bullpen has to be on fumes.

    Most surprising and most important in this team win to me was Detwiler going 4 strong innings. Just think if he can turn his season around?

    Glad to hear the in-game talk was civil but you can never get me to go there. I have enough difficulty just paying attention to the radio or tv. Totally superstitious, but if I start with the tv and we go ahead, I don’t switch, but if we fall behind the tv goes off and Charlie & Dave come on. Just like I realize keeping the same hat as long as we are winning and changing after each loss does not really help our lads, I am stuck with my irregularities from a long coaching career.

    Go Nats!!

  8. ehay2k - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    I went up to bed and turned on Charlie and Dave, setting the sleep timer on the radio. The 30 seconds I heard before I fell asleep were clearly not exciting! (That’s actually high praise for the bullpen.)

    Glad to hear the game thread was readable. Will check it out later.


  9. scnatsfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    I went after 11 too. I swore I checked my phone and the Nats lost 3-2. Imagine my surprise and happiness reading this!

  10. Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Went to sleep after 14. Just watched the last two. What a great win! Zim comes through and Soriano was nails, as usual. Let’s not forget Rendon tying the game (btw, it was 2-1 at the time, Mark) and making that super stop on Ramirez’s shot. And four solid innings from Det. That was perhaps the most amazing thing that happened last night. The last time the bullpen gave up a run was Blevins losing the extra inning game against Atlanta last Friday.

    Everyone’s complimenting MW, but I started worrying that ALR might have to pitch as soon Det came in the game. Don’t you have to save one of your “pitch till you drop” guys (Stammen, Det) to be the last man standing? I sure hope he would have pitched Soriano in the 16th whether or not we had a lead, or even sent out Clip for another inning. No sense saving Soriano if ALR is going to give up a walkoff.

    Anyway, he led a charmed life last night. Way to go!

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      Deuces, as you know in any ball game , especially one like this, there is always plenty of second guessing the manager.All I can tell you is that every one of Matt’s calls worked out.

      I thought a key to the game that got little to no mention was the first inning. Span got a base hit, stole 2nd after a couple of throws to first, advanced on a slow roller to third by Rendon that the Brewers were banking would go foul, then scored on an infield RBI groundout by Werth. It was all very heads up baserunning on Denard’s part to get that run.

    • tcostant - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      The game worked out, but confused also why a long guy wasn’t left standind. To pitch Stammen and Det for five inning in a row, while Clip, Storen and Sori are still stitting on he bench, is a little crazy…

      • therealjohnc - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        If you’re wondering why the pitching order went the way it did, remember that this game also did not happen in a vacuum. Clip, Storen and Sori were left on the bench because they’ve been pitching a lot lately, and I’m sure MW would have preferred not to have to use them all last night/this morning. Also by using some of the pitchers for an inning at a time he preserved at least a couple of options for the five games happening in the next four days. If everyone pitches two innings (for example) before he gets to Detwiler as the “last man standing” then the team would have to make a roster move to have someone, anyone, to back up Strasburg today.

        It’s always a balancing act between looking back at past usage (not overusing each pitcher), looking ahead (saving something for upcoming games) and trying to win the game at hand. Depending on a variety of factors different things may be the paramount consideration.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      I got worried when Stammen went one but apparently MW knew just how much rope he had. I also didn’t see Det going 4 scoreless.

  11. ehay2k - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    I went up to bed and turned on Charlie and Dave, setting the sleep timer on the radio. The 30 seconds I heard before I fell asleep were clearly not exciting! (That’s actually high praise for the bullpen.)

    Glad to hear the game thread was readable. Will check it out later. Too bad Bo Porter’s guys couldn’t help us out.


  12. ehay2k - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Fun with WP today!

  13. NatsLady - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Didn’t go to the game because nobody wanted to go with me (everyone just wanted to eat and gab and play with the children). Wish I’d been there, but can’t imagine driving back to Rockford at 1 am (it’s about 75 miles, with about 40 of it road construction).

    So, we’re going today, six of us, including my niece’s two boys (6 and 5) who have never been to a big-league baseball game before. I know we’re seeing the B squad, but the Brewers have to be just as tired. Congrats to Ross Detwiler, who I have bad-mouthed many a time. He came through, like Lannan in 2012, when it was most needed!

    Not sure why Matty went with Stammen before Storen, and then Stammen’s spot came up and was out for a pinch hitter. Seems like that should have been reversed so Stammen could have gone more than one inning. Other than that, MW managed well and the boys came through. Web Gems after the guys had been on the field 5 hours. Amazing.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Have fun, NL, and thanks for sharing your experiences on the other game you attended.

  14. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    I’m so sleepy…. I hope I don’t snore on the plane ride back home. :-)

    Just a fun game… I am most happy for Ross D as he (we too) needed that type of outting. I thought MW was tempting fate a few times as he kept trotting Det out there. I was also surprised that Stammen was used early and for 1 outting… but it worked, and that’s all that mattered…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Me too but that was fun! 4 shutout innings by Ross! Det’s ERA dropped 60 points with this performance.

    • natsfan1a - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Eh, you probably won’t ever see any of the passengers again, anyway. (At least, that’s what I always tell myself.)

      “I’m so sleepy…. I hope I don’t snore on the plane ride back home. :-)

  15. Doc - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Defense and pitchin’ sportsfans—hard to beat!

    Span should send some tapes to Rosenthal so that he better understands real UZR.

    • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM


      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        I was thinking this morning that I’m not sure what is the more ignorant statement: Span is just like Nyjer; or Span is a -10 ten UZR. -10 UZR says that he is a below average defensive outfielder. I’m to the point of thinking that anybody that throws out UZR statements when describing, or arguing a player’s worth are as ignorant as that stupid stat.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Who compared Span to Nyjer with regards to defense?

      • bowdenball - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Citing Span’s negative UZR is not an “ignorant statement.” UZR is a statistic just like batting average. It is what it is.

        By the way even the people who created UZR would tell you that it’s not a very informative statistic over 80 games. The sample size is far too small- a player probably only has 20-30 marginal chances during that time frame. You even see some variance in full seasons- LaRoche’s number year to year is a good example. It tells a particular story, but is merely supposed to be used in conjunction with other statistics and scouting/expert analysis to pain the full picture of the player. Just like every other baseball statistic.

      • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        I recall that last year, a well-known LoD member (who I haven’t seen here this year at all?) said something to the effect of: “Span = Nyjer”

        I can’t find that comment, but I did find him saying that Span was Rizzo’s worst acquisition since Nyjer. (And, actually, he kept spelling his name “Nyger”)

        I don’t know if he meant defense, or offense, or the whole package.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Doc, you seem to be bent on that. Maybe Span heard that comment and it got him going because that was Span’s best play in a road park this season. He went a long way for that ball and through the warning track and up against the wall. That was a game saving catch if he doesn’t get that.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        Steve, last year it the Nyjer/Span comparison was done constantly, by more than a couple on this board.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        On the basepaths last year I could see the comparisons with those pickoffs and caught stealings, but no other comparisons I could see if anyone seriously knows the game.

        Last year I would say Span was a top 3 Centerfielder in the NL.

        This year I think Span hasn’t been as good as last year but certainly not where Fangraphs has him rated.

        BTW, Span has been adjusted on Fangraphs to a -2.9 but I have him as a better CF than BJ Upton and Revere who are both ahead of him on Fangraphs. I believe Lagares and Ozuna have been the best CFs in the NL East.

  16. adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    In the last four games combined, the Nats BP has thrown 16.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R — which includes a streak of (if I’m figuring this right — I’m kinda bleary-eyed this morning) of (can this be correct?) 13 consecutive hitless innings

    (Is that really correct?)

    • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      And, even more impressive: those 13 consecutive hitless innings involved every single member of the Nats BP

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Unreal. I gotta double check that, not that I don’t trust you. It is unbelievable.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Idk if that is correct. I want to say Det allowed a hit last night… then the next batter he got to double play…

      • Eric - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        I think he’s saying somewhere in 16.2 scoreless innings pitched there was a stretch of 13 hitless innings.

        I know (via FP) that Blevins broke up a bid for a 9th consecutive perfect inning by the bullpen when he walked a guy last night, so the 13 hitless seems feasible.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Just checked and I got 10 and 2/3 no hit innings from Soriano’s save on Saturday to yesterday’s RD outing. Still a no-hitter.

      • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Here’s what I got:

        Saturday: Soriano: 1 hitless inning
        Sunday: Stammen, Clip, Soriano, 3.2 hitless innings
        Monday: Barrett, Storen, Clippard, 3 hitless innings
        Last night: Bevins (1), Barrett (1), Stammen (1), and Detwiler (his first 3 innings): 6 straight hitless innings

        That’s 13.2 straight hitless innings (I didn’t know if 2/3 of an inning counted which is why I said 13).


    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Oops you are right. I didn’t count RD’s innings. My bad!

  17. jd - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    For the people questioning the pitching moves here is how I see it:

    1) Stammen has pitched a lot lately. I don’t think MW wanted him to go more than 1 anyway.
    2) MW was hoping to stay away from the big 3 who have really pitched in most games lately.
    3) Det was the long man. By the time he came in there was no question that he would pitch several innings no matter the result.
    4) If ALR had to come in it would just have been MW saying: ‘ we did we can. Let’s get them next time’. You don’t want to start burning your starters even if they can give you an inning.

    I don’t really think MW made a single wrong call on his pitchers. It just turned out that they had to use the big 3 anyway. Stras needs to take one for the team today. He has to stay on the mound for a minimum of 7 innings and preferably 8 or 9 regardless if he has his best stuff or not.

    • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      jd, that’s a reasonable post hoc analysis. Here’s my response to your points.

      1. Absolutely agree. You don’t save both long men to be the last man standing, just one, and Stammen has been an ironman lately. I had no problem with keeping him to one inning.
      2. Sure he was hoping, so was I. But you don’t have that luxury in an extra inning game. At any rate, Soriano was rested since he didn’t pitch yesterday. No reason to stay away from him. He certainly would have closed if we were ahead in the 9th. Storen had pitched the day before, but not since Friday before that. And his outing on Monday was only 9 pitches. Even less reason to stay away from him. Clip had pitched two days in a row, and his outing on Monday was 22 pitches. So he’s the one to try to stay away from. Best approach is to make him the last pitcher before the last man standing, or, if you must, make him the “closer” in case you take the lead, rather than Soriano.
      3. Very true. He should have been our last pitcher and gone for 5 or 6 if necessary. Do you really think ALR would do better than a tired Det? At some point, of course, a position player is going to have to pitch. But the 16th is awfully early to be in that position, don’t you think?
      4. Haren closed a long extra inning game last year. I’m guessing Fister or Roark would have been willing to do that if necessary, but maybe not. I agree you don’t start throwing starters out there for multiple innings. That’s why you need a “last man standing” who can go more than one inning.

      In the end, we got very lucky and it all worked out. I heard MW in his radio interview this morning on 106.7 say that if we didn’t score in the 16th, ALR would have pitched the bottom of the inning, not Soriano. That’s nuts. So I just don’t think he managed this very well. Certainly, he doesn’t deserve kudos for handling the bullpen in this game.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        As much as I was howling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” when Det went out for a second inning, it was a risk that paid off–Matty rolled his 4-the-hard-way.

        Who would you rather have fresh for the getaway game in about 14 hours: Detwiler, or Storen + Clippard+ Soriano? If Detwiler can hold the line, and they score, you have all 3 late-inning studs for the 2:00 game, which is more than Roenicke could match. If not, you’ve still got them fresh for the rubber game. Wound up using them anyway, of course, but that couldn’t be helped, as it turned out.

  18. Eric - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Amazing game. I tried to go to bed after 13 or 14 but kept waking up and checking the score. Every time I turned on my tablet I expected to see the game summary on at bat with a loss for the Nats, as we’ve struggled in extra innings, and they kept putting Det back out there.

    I was lucky enough to be following on AtBat when Zim hit the go-ahead homer, and with our last pitcher standing waiting in the wings. MAN was that exciting!

    Re: Det, now more than ever I feel that this has all been a long, slow recovery process from his back surgery. IIRC, his last couple of outings featured a super solid first inning followed by shakiness in his second, whereas early in the season he usually struggled out of the gate, etc. In any case, it was really great to see him repeatedly trot out there at a critical juncture and repeatedly slam the door on some of the hottest hitters in the game. Kudos to you, Det, and welcome back to peak form for at least one night!

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    On June 8th the SF Giants had a 42-21 record and a 9 1/2 game lead in the NL West and the best record in all of MLB and then the Nats took 3 straight from them and the Giants haven’t been the same as their offense has gone into a collective slump. They are now 45-32 and clinging to a 3 game lead in the NL West.

    When the Nats flew into Milwaukee, the Brewers were 47-30 with the best record in the National League. The Nats have guaranteed a series win after the win last night. The Brewers now hold a 4 1/2 game lead over the Cardinals.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Amazing. SF was a juggernaut until that series. Nothing turns on a dime like baseball.

      Did I read that Mikey Morse was hurt?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        He tweaked his back. The Nats put him in a slump is all I know. He got hits but nothing that left the park.

      • rayvil01 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Thanks. You are spot on. He had a good game on the last day. But otherwise was not a factor. And his verbal digs were silly. Burned that bridge.

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Taylor Hill is the call-up. Didn’t I hear that last night?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      “Ghost of Steve M. – Jun 25, 2014 at 1:53 AM
      I see the Nats have a 60 Day DL move they can make if they wanted to add a Taylor Hill as Matt Purke can go on the 60 day DL.”

      I think he can take Purke’s spot on the 40 man and Dobbs spot on the roster as they can try to pass him through waivers or go straight up for Dobbs in a DFA.

      Personally I would go 1 short on the bench. The Nats have pitchers who can hit better than Dobbs.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Matt Stairs, Chad Tracy, Gregg Dobbs…seems to be some kind of a trend going on.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Absolutely. Tracy I would say was the best of the 3 and no doubt that MW has tried to give Dobbs his chances to prove he was still viable. His 1st pitch swinging after the McLouth walk the other day was so Matt Stares.

      • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        I was asleep early last night. Read thru the posts from last night. Saw your post on Taylor Hill and thought you had Taylor Jordans name wrong.

        Your forsite is excellent if indeed that is the decision to bring Hill up. I saw you saying Mattheus didnt make sense that the Nats needed a starter.

        I guess Treinen gets the doubleheader on Saturday.

      • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        Mattheus is hurt, right?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Yes, Mattheus is on the Minor League DL and so is Taylor Jordan.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Congratulations, Taylor Hill — you’re going to The Show.

      2011 6th-rounder out of Vanderbilt; RHP, listed as 6’3″, 233#. He’s 9-2 for Syracuse with a 1.92 ERA and WHIP of 0.993.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        I don’t see that on the Transactions page yet, though.

        Did see these:

        06/23/14 Washington Nationals signed free agent RHP Scott McGregor to a minor league contract.
        06/24/14 Washington Nationals sent OF Jeff Kobernus on a rehab assignment to Syracuse Chiefs.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        He last pitched Thursday in Norfolk: 6-5-3-3-0-5; 75 pitches, for the win.

    • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Well played. Was Dobbs DFA’d? Do they have to release him since as you say, there’s a spot on the 40-man? He could accept a brief assignment to the minors if he gets through waivers right? On the other hand, he’s clearly the guy to go when Harp returns, so maybe his time has run out.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        222, I think Dobbs will have to let Rizzo know if he will take a Minor League assignment or become a Free Agent as to how they handle it.

        Looking at the roster, it has to be Dobbs. The Nats have Purke’s spot to 60 Day DL him so that makes it easy.

        Agree with you, he was outta here anyway once Bryce returned.

        The only other move would be to send Barrett to AAA but I think that would be a mistake as you lose him for 10 days.

        I think you go short on your bench and it would help to have an extra arm for the doubleheader on Saturday. Bryce comes back on Monday and will replace Hill. Ramos replaces Leon on Thursday.

      • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        That makes eminent sense. Make it happen Rizz!

      • Section 222 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Actually Ghost, now that I think of it, if Hill doesn’t pitch between now and Saturday, would it make sense to start Hill insteand of Treinen and bring up a bat for the doubleheader? Souza? Taylor?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        222, I think Treinen gets Saturday regardless. Hill is there for insurance if needed in long relief but I could also see an instance where Hill takes over any innings left today depending on the score.

        I guess dream big and hope the Nats get a big lead and Hill gets to finish today’s game.

        I have to believe Werth sits today. Leon of course starts at catcher. Desi desperately needs a dayoff and Sunday will be a great day of rest for these marathoners.

  21. nats2005 - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    FYI – MW on the junkies said that today was BH’s day off.

    BTW, last night, Harper went 2 for 3 with a HR and Wilson went 2 for 5 and is batting .556 in the minors.


  22. zmunchkin - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Made it through all 16 – it was great. But I have the advantage of a home office :-).

    And on Det’s performance, maybe he finally decided (or someone told him) that as a reliever he can just throw him the heater – clearly his best pitch.

    And I would like to reinforce the point about UZR – a nonsense stat. WAR, especially Defensive WAR, is also more opinion that fact/data, but it is not quite as bad as UZR.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Thanks, munch, for the reinforcement. I see both as equivalent of figure skating scores, only worse.

      • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Ive tried reading how UZR is calculated and cant figure out what it all means. Someone measures something is always dangerous. They have Adam Jones as a top CF. Ive watched him play. Hes more show than glove.

        I think it has to do with reads, speed, route, and intestinal fortitude. I think if you play in a park like Atlanta where you have no outfield angles that your UZR would look better. If you play in SF, AZ, Pitt, Milw, in the NL those are all tough outfields,

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        This from FanGraphs is the explanation of how UZR is calculated.It’s also the explanation of why I see it as the equivalent of figure skating scoring. It’s based entirely too much on subjective information and interpretation, rather than cut and dried objective math. I wonder how much stock that GM’s actually put in it?

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Oops,I forgot to put in the FanGraph’s link:

      • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        Joe thanks. I still dont get it. I just say if BJ Upton is rated better then Span then something is wrong with that stat.

  23. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    One of my favorite parts of last night was seeing Detwiler sitting on the bench after finishing his 4 innings, looking like a part of the team again. What a relief that must be.

    • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM


    • Eric - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      I wish I had seen that. I liked seeing him try to contain his grin the first time he came up to bat. Good stuff.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      + 1
      And hats off to MW for sticking with him.I’m pretty sure that I would not have. Det is capable of being a quality reliever, and as such, a very valuable piece for this team. Hopefully last night gets him to embrace his role with renewed confidence.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Angels are looking for a lefty reliever. Just saying.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Not sure what the Angels have that the Nats need. Personally, I’d rather keep Detwiler and see if he can be effective again. Nats don’t exactly have a surplus of lefthanders.

      • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        I went thru Detwilers game log and he was great in April and fell apart in May. There was alot of talk about Detwiler wasnt happy with management.

  24. micksback1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    have to hope and assume Stras can go at least 7 innings today. he should have the advantage over Brew starting pitching and BP. At least Nats have won another series and that is all that really matters

  25. micksback1 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Det was impressive, his most impressive game since game 4 of the 2012 NLDS. the problem with det is that he has zero consistency, one should not have to wait 2 seasons between good performances

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Detwiler had the fastball dotting Lobaton’s mitt all night. He threw all fastballs and the sinker was working giving him some nice drop after the batter was setup with his 4 seam.

      It was great to see and needed by his team. The Nats hadn’t won an extra innings game since Opening Day.

      I think with Det you just hope that this is the start to something. He is either streaky good, or streaky bad. I’m hoping the former and not the latter that this will set him up to go on a good streak.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        Sometimes, life is much easier when you give up hope. I don’t know what’s in his head, obviously, but he was publicly unhappy with relieving, and it must have messed with his confidence. I got the feeling watching him last night, as FP was going on (and on and on) about Detwiler throwing all fastballs, that he had decided, “Screw it–if I’m going out, I’m going out throwing my best pitch.” and just relaxed and let rip.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        He’s still screwing himself as when batters are “sitting” fastball they will hit mistakes and luckily Det made no mistakes.

        Look at Clip now who has added a cutter and a splitter and occassionally a curveball where he can now make a mistake and can get away with it as he has a repertoire where he is keeping the batters guessing.

        Det’s 4-seam made his sinker hard to hit because he was hitting locations. I just fear what we have seen with an all fastball diet that he has to thread the needle with that limited repertoire.

        It worked last night including 2nd time through their order. Clutch.

        Storen on the other hand, was lucky. He gets the pitcher Fiers to start the inning and an easy out then gives up a hit and almost lost the game twice and was bailed out by a Gem by Span and a Web Gem by Werth.

  26. Dave - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Taylor Hill is called up, per Wagner at the WaPo and the Vandy coach on Twitter. Bullpen help. Who is gone to make room?

    • nats128 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      “Ghost of Steve M. – Jun 25, 2014 at 1:53 AM
      I see the Nats have a 60 Day DL move they can make if they wanted to add a Taylor Hill as Matt Purke can go on the 60 day DL.”

      Come on, the Ghost called this last night. Read the discussion above. Most likely Dobbs is gone unless they send Aaron Barrett back to AAA.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Yes, and I doubt they want to lose Barrett’s arm for 10 days. Dobbs can go to Syracuse or be a FA again.

      • Dave - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Sorry. I missed that while skimming the thread. I stay away from game threads because of vitriol and negativity.

        My question, really, was the active-roster question. Is the Dobbs era coming to a merciful end?

  27. therealjohnc - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Ten innings of scoreless relief? Against the team with the best record in the National League (taking over from former top record holder SF, who dropped the spot when the Nats went to SF and won 3 of 4)? And possibly the best offense in the NL (non-Coors Field inflated division)? With the defensive alternating between crisp and spectacular plays to help hold the Brewers at bay? And all on the road, meaning they knew they had to get three outs in that inning just to have the ability to try to get three more outs the next inning?

    You know, for a team of weak-willed head cases who fold in the clutch (etc., etc.), the 2014 Nats are some mentally tough SOBs.

    • sjm308 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      just let them lose 2 or 3 and those same quotes will come spewing out.
      I don’t read nearly as much as I used to but did any of the LoD come forward and say “whoops, probably misspoke there” No matter, everyone has the right to say whatever they want I guess.

      Go Nats!!

    • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Ten innings of scoreless relief?…

      And if you add the day before — 13 IP of scoreless relief, including 9 straight hitless innings!! (And, add in the two game before — 13.2 straight hitless innings, and 16 scoreless innings).

      Ridiculously good.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      “You know, for a team of weak-willed head cases who fold in the clutch (etc., etc.), the 2014 Nats are some mentally tough SOBs.”

      LMAO. I’m smiling. Don’t you wish you can tell some of these mental midgets “told you so”. This team has been playing at times with 4 bench players to go with 4 regulars with all the injuries. The games the team played without Harper, RZim and Ramos were tough to watch at times and the DL stint with 15 days without LaRoche was tough as he’s been the team’s best hitter. The smarter people here knew if the team could hold on long enough for them to come back that this team could go on a run.

      Do you remember this game
      No Rendon, no LaRoche, no RZim, no Harper.

      • veejh - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Hey, I coined that mental midget term. That’s trademarked!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        West Coast term!

    • thelatencn - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Oh, no, johnc, according to some on this thread, we were just lucky last night.

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Pete Kozma DFA’d. Wish that happened 2 years ago!

    • Doc - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Ghost you are in mid-season form and NIs are better for it!!!

      One last comment (maybe not?) on Rosenthal, UZR, Fangraphs, and Span.

      How does a stat go from -10 and whatever, to -2.9 in 2 days, unless we are talking about the temperature on Mars??

      Real stats (at least baseball stats) don’t do that, and when they do, they are meaningless. Some goofy stuff goin’ on over at Fangraphs!

      Lotta great, really great, defense last night; but thinking that Span’s catch up against the wall might have been the best!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Big time goofy stuff. They obviously thought no-one was looking and would make the adjustment because their UZR was flawed in the first place.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        And Doc, thanks for the nice comment.

  29. sjm308 - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    nice call by Ghost on this move.

    I of course do not follow the Brewers but I am wondering who, besides the catcher will be given the day off for them. I think I read somewhere that the Brewers are already playing with one position player short and even though Gomez had a difficult game, he is still hitting over .300. I guess my point is that we are certainly a lot more tired then the home team but its baseball so you never know.
    I put McClouth in RF – Frandsen at 3rd Leon catching and keep Desmond at SS although god knows he needs a day off as well.

    Go Nats!

    • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      I put McClouth in RF – Frandsen at 3rd Leon catching and keep Desmond at SS although god knows he needs a day off as well.

      And bump Rendon? Or, are you already asumming: move Rendon to 2b and rest Espi?

    • Dave - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      How about Rendon to 2nd, Espi to SS, and give Desi a rest?

      • adcwonk - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Yeah, I was thinking that, too. A rested Desi is more valuable to us than a rested Espi.

  30. Faraz Shaikh - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Rest as many as you can. Bench players are all big leaguers too. They are capable of winning on their own also.

  31. chaz11963 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Kilgore just tweeted that Nats DFA’d Dobbs.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      greg we hardly knew ye

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Like clockwork and a no-brainer. Will be interesting to see if he takes a Minor League assignment.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        I don’t even see how he would fit in at Syracuse, what with Peterson and Tyler Moore and now Kobernus back with them.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Good point in that ‘Cuse might not have a spot for him. The Nats are on the hook for approx $250K and the Marlins for the rest.





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