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Game 78: Nats at Cubs

Jun 26, 2014, 4:39 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

CHICAGO — Hello from the one and only Windy City, where it’s a very pleasant late-June afternoon along Lake Michigan. The Nationals made the short drive down from Milwaukee after yesterday’s loss and now face an unusual, 4-games-in-3-days series against the Cubs. The schedule refresher: Night game today, mid-afternoon game tomorrow, day-night doubleheader Saturday, off Sunday due to the annual Chicago Pride Parade taking place near Wrigley Field.

The Nats have a key reinforcement joining them here in town: Wilson Ramos, who is back after a 15-day stint on the DL with a strained hamstring. Ramos looked very good during his four rehab games, homering twice, and pronounced himself healthy and ready to go. His batterymate tonight is Doug Fister, coming off a fabulous start against the Braves and now seeking to begin his Nationals career 7-2.

Left-hander Travis Wood gets the nod for the ever-rebuilding Cubs. I’ll be posting plenty of live updates from the press box at Wrigley later on, but first I’m appearing remotely from the CSN Chicago studios on today’s episode of The Baseball Show. Be sure to tune in at 4 p.m. EDT…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CHICAGO CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (41-36)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Doug Fister

CUBS (32-44)
LF Ryan Sweeney
RF Justin Ruggiano
1B Anthony Rizzo
SS Starlin Castro
3B Luis Valbuena
C Welington Castillo
CF Junior Lake
2B Darwin Barney
LHP Travis Wood

UMPIRES
HP Mike DiMuro
1B Mike Estabrook
2B Jerry Layne (cc)
3B Hunter Wendelstedt

8:05 p.m. — And we’re underway on what has turned into a foggy evening here in Wrigleyville. It’s been tough to see the big scoreboard in center field clearly at times, though it’s mostly visible now. Just a strange sight.

8:12 p.m. — Jayson Werth lined a 2-out single to center, but that was it for the Nats in the top of the first against Travis Wood. Given the thick air and a breeze blowing in from center field, I wouldn’t expect the ball to fly too much tonight.

8:20 p.m. — Doug Fister was thisclose to a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, but Anthony Rizzo’s looper to shallow left field fell in between Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman for a 2-out single. No problem, because Fister still worked his way out of the inning on only 12 pitches.

8:34 p.m. — Scary moment in the top of the second. Zimmerman roped a double to deep right-center to start the inning, but Cubs center fielder Junior Lake slammed hard into the metal door out there amidst the ivy and went down in a heap. All the other Cubs position players, plus manager Rick Renteria and trainers ran out to check on Lake, who appeared to hit his leg, his head and his shoulder into that door. Thankfully, he was able to get up and walk off under his own power. He’s out of the game, but it could’ve been a whole lot worse. Meanwhile, Wilson Ramos lined a single to left in his first at-bat off the DL, but a questionable send by Bobby Henley at third base hung Zim out to dry at the plate. So the Nats waste a scoring opportunity there. It remains 0-0 heading to the bottom of the second.

8:52 p.m. — The fog continues to roll in, and the ball continues not to fly much. Both teams might have no choice but to try to manufacture runs tonight. Still 0-0 in the middle of the third.

8:57 p.m. — Fog or no fog, Denard Span is having no trouble seeing the ball in center field tonight. He has looked quite comfortable chasing down several not-so-routine balls, including a pair in the bottom of the third just now to ensure a 1-2-3 inning for Fister. Still just the one bloop single allowed by the big right-hander so far tonight.

9:23 p.m. — Wow, that was not a good bottom of the fourth for Fister and the Nats. The Cubs scored three runs on an infield single (with a wild throw by Rendon), a double down the first-base line, a broken-bat single to left and an RBI single by Castillo. Fister is already at 82 pitches after only four innings. On the heels of a 16-inning game two nights ago, and with a doubleheader coming up Saturday, this really is not what the Nats needed tonight. They now trail 3-0 after four.

9:28 p.m. — Another base hit for Ramos, who is now 2-for-2 in his return. As promised, he’s not exactly busting it on the basepaths, though. He just peeled off after about 50 feet on Espinosa’s 6-4-3 double-play grounder. It may not look great, but Matt Williams won’t have a problem with that. He wants Wilson in the lineup more than anything else.

9:45 p.m. — The good news: The Nats got a run back in the top of the sixth, thanks to a Span double and Rendon RBI single. The bad news: They missed an opportunity to do more, with LaRoche grounding into a double play and Desmond striking out on an 0-2 fastball at his chin. Ian really is pressing at the plate right now. It feels like he’s down 0-2 every time he steps to the plate. Not good. 3-1 Cubs.

9:53 p.m. — We just had our first ball lost in the fog, with Span having no idea where Valbuena’s flyball was. It landed behind him for a triple. Span managed to make the next catch, but you’ve got to wonder how the umps can let this continue right now.

10:07 p.m. — Interesting decision just now for Williams. After Ramos and Espinosa walked to open the seventh, he chose to let Fister step to the plate and drop a sac bunt (which he did exceptionally well) instead of having Scott Hairston pinch-hit against the lefty. That put the pressure on Span to deliver with two in scoring position and one out … and he did, drilling a double off the wall in right field. Span did stray too far off second base and got thrown out, but the game is now tied 3-3 as Craig Stammen enters for the bottom of the seventh.

10:23 p.m. — And Stammen gives two runs right back on Ruggiano’s 2-out double down the left-field line. The Cubs tested Zimmerman’s arm to score the second run, and it paid off. So make it 5-3 Cubs now, with the Nats suddenly down to their final six outs.

10:29 p.m. — Adam LaRoche bunts his way through the shift for a single in the top of the eighth, but Zimmerman follows with a double play grounder. So the Nats are now down to their final three outs. Still 5-3.

10:38 p.m. — Last shot for the Nats. It’ll be Desmond, Ramos and Espinosa against Hector Rondon in the ninth, down two runs.

10:45 p.m. — Game over. The Nats lose this one, 5-3, their second straight loss. Back at it tomorrow at 4:05 p.m. Eastern.

224 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Ah, the friendly cahnfines. Won’t get to see much of this in real time but hope I bracketed the DVR for long enough. (Don’t go 16, guys, okay?)

  2. 3on2out - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Interesting defense. Perhaps the left side of the infield is a bit overloaded tho…

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Perhaps it a new defensive shift?

      Fister is, after all, a ground ball pitcher.

      • nats128 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        2 3rd baseman? One will play deep 3rd in leftfield.

  3. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    They don’t call it the hot corner for nothing.

  4. natsfan1a - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    On another note, thanks, Astros!

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Braves RISP: 0-for-5 (what’s surprising about that stat, imho, is not so much the zero, but the five — only five?)

      OTOH, Astros only 1-for-6. But that one was a 2-out 3 run HR by Dominguez.

      • wearenationals - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        +1

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        No matter his record, Cosart is a good pitcher, just somewhat inconsistent.

      • nats128 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        Somewhat inconsistent is why he is not a great pitcher. I remember when Cosart shutdown the Nats in Spring Training. That got a few ticked off on NI.

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        He really turned a corner last start. He threw 8 shut-out innings last time out against the Rays, and then today only allowed a single run in the top of the first.

        Comes at a terrific time, as far as we’re concerned!

      • nats128 - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        They missed Keuchel and had McHugh yesterday. Glad Cosart kept them from getting swept.

  5. veejh - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Damn it’s good to see Ramos name in the lineup. Hopefully, the 7 8 9 black hole is gone.

  6. dryw4nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I guess I’m not the only one who automatically puts Zimmerman at 3B unless I’m really concentrating on it!

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Yep, Barves lost. The Nats are guaranteed sole possession of 1st Place for another day no matter the outcome of tonight’s game in Chicago.

  8. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    If I remember correctly (a big if) — Bryce was spending yesterday in travel to join Harrisburg.

    If that’s the case, H-burg is in Akron tonight.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    CF Denard Span
    3B Anthony Rendon
    RF Jayson Werth
    1B Adam LaRoche
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    SS Ian Desmond
    C Wilson Ramos
    2B Danny Espinosa

    I really like this lineup with Desmond hitting in front of Ramos.

    • Doc - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      So Ghost, any word on Zim’s current update on throws to 1B??

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        I only heard he took grounders. I got no intel on throws

    • chaz11963 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      Yes, hopefully Ramos is able adjust from the DL quickly and can contribute. He did well in rehab, BUT…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        It won’t be hard to outplay the dynamic duo of Lobaton & Leon.

  10. coop202 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Man if we were 5-5 vs the braves what a world this would be. 3.5 up with the braves at 38-40. Just the thought makes me smile. Let’s go nats!

    • nats128 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Makes me smile to see BJ Upton at leadoff batting at Mendoza.

  11. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Say what you want about Leon’s awful bat, but I think he’s easily the best defensive catcher we have. Framing, blocking, throwing, he does it all better than anyone including Ramos.

    Unfortunately, if he can’t hit his weight, it’s irrelevant.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      You have to include play calling. All the Nats catchers are good at framing.

      • unkyd59 - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        Leon still has a chance to develop into an adequate batter. He’s not gonna turn into Ramoose, but if he had a long stretch against mlb pitching, he might get to be a .250 batter… Just a feeling

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        You could be right. He has a nice swing. He could use some consistent starts.

  12. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Anthony Rendon has 3.1 WAR already. If he continued on that pace, he’d finish with about 6.6 WAR. That would blow away the highest on our team the last few years, Ian Desmond with 5 in both 2012 and 2013. The best that Ryan Zimmerman ever had was 6.8 in 2009. Was worth 6.7 in 2010.

    • David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      Actually, I misread. He’s at 2.7 WAR. But that would still be 5.8 WAR over a full season, which is still significantly more than Desi the last two years.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Wouldn’t he have a higher WAR if he played 2nd due to all the defensive touches?

      • David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        It’s possible. It’s also worth noting that UZR likes his defense better at second, whereas DRS likes his defense better at third. What’s interesting is that earlier this year both had Rendon as a well below average 3B earlier this year. In fact, at one point it had him as the worst defensive 3B in the league. Now it has him slightly above average and climbing. I’m not sure if it was a case of small sample size early or if he’s actually gotten better at 3B as the season has progressed.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        The crazy defensive matrix on Span and Rendon. Did you see the huge adjustment on FanGraphs on Span? They moved him from a -10 to a -2.3. Prest-O Change-O!

      • ehay2k - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        The guys at FanGraphs have lost a step.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        If they can’t come up with a more objective measurement they should ditch the stat. I’m not a fan of these ratings. I always felt they were close in the past but these are ridiculous and then to see Span’s UZR improved by 70% in 2 days is suspect.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Yes, but wouldn’t you expect that in what amounts to a very small sample size for that metric? It’s like somebody adding 25 points to their Batting Average by going 4 for 4.

  13. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I have great and sad memories of the Pride Parade in Chicago, c. 1983.

    I remember one cop, who could have been in a Blues Brothers movie he fit the stereotype so perfectly, standing with his back to me as I asked one of his younger brothers-in-blue directions, loudly repeating “getoutoftown. getoutoftown. getoutoftown …” the whole time. I grew up on the Near West Side, so he really just reminded me of one of my uncles. Not threatening, just really rude.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled game thread, already in progress…

  14. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Mark Zuckerman ‏@ZuckermanCSN 2m
    Harper playing 7 inn tonight in RF for Harrisburg, will play 9 in CF tomorrow. Off Saturday, LF on Sunday. Best case: Activated Monday.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Hope he is ready for the bobble head night.

  15. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Go Nats.

    Go Fister

  16. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    GYFNG!

  17. RickH - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Foggy night!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      Indeed

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Let’s go boys

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Can’t wait til we have all our bullets

  20. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Werth benefits from the day off

  21. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    OK Fister we talked good about you yesterday. Prove us right.

  22. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    I doubt that single will cost a no hitter

  23. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Junior Lake’s hustle hurt himself

  24. RickH - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Ouch! Suddenly I’m glad Bryce isn’t playing in this series.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Not quite as bad, but they need to make sure he is OK.

  25. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Precaution guys

  26. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Anyone else’s MASN coming and going.

  27. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Word Press putting it where it wants again.

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    2 things…

    1. I would have totally been fine with Ramos not playing in this 65 degree weather in Chicago…
    2. I totally hope lake is okay… That was just mean…

  29. RickH - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Welcome back, Buffalo!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      He got the hit.

  30. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Got him by a mile. What the hell was the coach doing?

  31. scnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    That was absurd. Can you bench a coach?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      That coaching as bad as Strasburg pitching yesterday

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Really Henley…. Really….

  33. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    The ball was thrown as Ryan touched third. That is stupid coaching.

    • scnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Before

  34. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Henley cost us there.

  35. ehay2k - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    This is the first year as 3b coach for Henley, so he is learning. But dumb is dumb. As soon as Ryan approached third he needed to be held. Henley was sending him no matter what.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      And the left fielder just getting it as he touched third.

      What process tells a third base coach that as a medium speed runner is touching third one in short left field, makes it a good idea to send the runner?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        Wishful thinking?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        Actually, I counted on the reply — from the time the LF Sweeney touched the ball, Zim took at keast four steps to reach third. No idea what Henley was thinking there.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        *on the replay

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        *at least

        GET ME REWRITE!

  36. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Hit Wood like that again next inning.

  37. BurnedOnce - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Love the pace of Fister’s game

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    I would have pulled myself out of the game after that ball hit my shin…

    • ehay2k - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      The Cubs can expect a lot of those tonight if Fister keeps throwing sinkers like that. Is full body armor allowed?

  39. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I suspect that Span needs a day for hitting not fielding. Maybe Monday Harper will play center

  40. philipd763 - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    The Nationals can’t even score runs against the pathetic Cubs. This is painful.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      We shall see.

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      “Can’t even”? Why are you bothering staying stuff like that when it’s only the 3rd inning?

  41. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    They must see better than we do as that would be unsafe to play.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      They have, like, 20-12 vision.

      • janebeard - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Seriously! I’d be nervous if i were the mother of any of these guys. I mean, I’m NOT and Im already nervous for them.

  42. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Span playing well in the field

  43. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Span is getting a nice work out…

    And I keep forgetting I’m watching HDTV with all is fog…. :-)

  44. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Great stat on the last 8 series…

  45. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Very same fan — two pop-ups in one inning — and drops them both.

    What are the odds?

    • EllieEspinosa - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      Wow ! All OK! We win tonight! FISTER ACE! What’s up with you negative people curse Nats in early innings ? Think win!

  46. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Good at bat by Rizzo…

  47. scnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I go into every series thinking we should sweep

  48. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Whelp… I guess we will see the outrage soon about Fister sucking and not being an ace… Etc, etc….

    • EllieEspinosa - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      You serious !!!! With Fister Stats!!! You not Nats Fan! You simple bored person!

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Child… Please go sit down somewhere…

      • EllieEspinosa - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        mrsb !!! Seriously!!!

    • EllieEspinosa - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      Stop !!! Fister one of the best in MLB right now! Get a life!!!!!

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Again… Child, go somewhere….

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        Fister has been solid , he just let his iiner Strasburg out there. Was not expecting that.

    • EllieEspinosa - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      See!

  49. unkyd59 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Wth?!?! I turn my back for ten minnits, and Fister’s in the midst of a 40 pitch inning ?!?! Does he look hurt?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      He seemed a little bit up last inning.. Gotta hope that the bad send didnt knock the Nats off the rocker…

      But at least Ramos looks good… :-)

  50. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Offensive production from the catcher… I love it..

  51. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Was that really a 7 pitch inning for Wood?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Nice answer by Fister… Come on Nats bats… Get the offense going…

  52. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    LaRoche 1st ball swinging after a walk. Not a fan of that.

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      I’ve never understood swinging at the first pitch after a walk. Make the pitcher throw a strike as he obviously has had trouble doing so.

      And now Desi up after another walk.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        I don’t expect Desi to ever change. LaRoche on the other hand is a professional hitter. Make the work and sweat.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      My comment on the other site…

      I hate first pitch swining… Why swing knowing that Woods was having control issues… Ugh

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      If it a fast ball you can drive its OK. If anything else (which that was) you don’t real simple. Lack of discipline is common among way too many major league pkayers

  53. scnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    ALR with a dagger there. Need Zim here.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      We needed that hit not a double play. What an air in the room released.

      • knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        We needed that hit not a double play. What an air in the room released.

        Say what?

  54. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Philipd763 first run in. Told you to early to make the comment you made.

  55. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    I’m all for first-pitch swinging, but I don’t get ALR swinging first pitch after Wood had fallen behind Span, Rendon and then walked Werth.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      Timing is everything.

  56. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Desmond is becoming a really poor hitter. When he makes contact he is fine. He swings way too many out of the zone. 2 of the tree strikes there were not in the zone. Espi does the same thing.

    What is Schu saying on the bench? I know I would say swing at strikes onky, saying it over and over and over.

    It is not rocket science, but many major leaguers have absolutely no discipline.

  57. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    What we know we don’t just come in to butch, you do.

  58. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Most of us have good comments and bad ones with our good out numbering the bad. Your bad way over good.

    May I ask if the playoffs started today, who is in?

  59. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    This fog getting worse

  60. janebeard - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Why aren’t they halting the game now? It’s incredible. If the players can’t freaking SEE how can they play?

  61. janebeard - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Wasian, I am done reading you,

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      I don’t know why anyone who thinks the teams stinks comes in here, makes no sense.

  62. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Who cares if the stink. That is why I hate trolls here. If the playoffs started now we would be in and anything could happen.

    Why do you have to mention they stink. In a pro Nats place?

    I don’t think I am out of line, but will ask others am I out of line about this anti Nats talk?

  63. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    It’s amazing they are still playing… I’m surprised the game hasn’t been halted or anything…

  64. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    We lose if they stop, but we are safe

  65. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    I would pinch-run for Ramos here with McLouth, but that’s me.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      I think they figure that Ramos will go at least 1 more time… Or hoping, at least….

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Sac bunt with Ramos on second base?

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Sac bunt with Ramos on second base?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        When you make a bunt that good but yeah, I wouldn’t bunt it to the 1st baseman.

  66. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Come on Espi need a hit

  67. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Interesting move here…

  68. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Need a good bunt, think I would go with Hairston

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      I would have left Hairston too… Especially if Span couldn’t see it… Maybe they mis play it too….

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        Come on Span

  69. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Great bunt, another half second it was a hit

  70. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    But damn if it wasn’t a perfect bunt….

  71. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Come on Span just like the last one.

  72. knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    I hope every player on the Nats watched Fister bunt that ball. How professional was that?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Huge. I was just getting to comment when Span hit that ball. I thought it was a HR. Span thought it was a HR. Ugh.

  73. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Great hit but terrible running.. I bet he was not guided by the coach

  74. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Great swing, bad baserunning.

  75. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Span with a great hit but a stupid baserunning play. Starts of the box once again watching his “work” and then hustles it and gets caught between 2nd and 3rd and gets picked.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Yeah, that’s the 2nd time he’s done that….

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        uh, 2nd time in the last 7 days. Ugh. He just let the Cubs off the hook. Henley in the 2nd inning and now this. Way to give up freebies.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        Yeah l I was wondering if Henley sent him or not…

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      As I said what was the coach doing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        We have no idea but the fact he stopped between 2nd and 3rd is on the runner. You either keep going or take a turn that you can get back to 2nd on. That wasn’t close.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Once he made that turn he should been at third

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      I just went back and watched the replay. Several times.He got snagged at 2nd with a crappy base running error, butI’d like to know where you saw him “watching” his work? I couldn’t find it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        I was on the Cubs feed on my MLB.TV Showed him momentarily hestitating after he hit it. You’d think he learned after last week watching that ball sail over the rightfielder.

  76. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    My man Span…. Credit to MW as he played it right, I think….

    But I wonder if Henly told D Span to keep going….

  77. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    I would love to see from third base camera, I bet he was not told much. I trust Span mire than Hanley.

    I thought it was easy triple.

  78. Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    The good, the bad, and the ugly Span all in one play. At least we’re back in it.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      I want to know coach told him to come or stay or did nothing

  79. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    You said the season was over on April 25. What are you still doing here?

  80. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Fister with another picture perfect bunt. He could possibly be the designated bunter if the Nats need one.

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      He and Roark. Both of them are superb bunters.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        I commented the last game that Fister bunts in the St. Louis style. The fact that he was drafted by an AL team and stayed his career in the AL until this year, I wonder who taught him. It’s very impressive. Roark is good, so is JZim.

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        He’s a great athlete. A solid fielder, too. He had zero errors last year.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        Just incredible fundamentals. That gymnast split he did covering 1st base was remarkable.

        I have been a big fan of Fister’s since Seattle. He got BABIP’d hard tonight. That play that backed up Rendon was unfortunate and Castro screening Desi was unfortunate.

        Fister easily could’ve had a shutout tonight.

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      Designated bunter use to be Jordan Z I think. I would guess Fister has replaced him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM

        Jordan Zimmermann is the 1st pitcher off the bench if you want a hit. I would have to say Fister would be my 1st choice for a bunt.

  81. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I’m thinking that the Giants and Brewers don’t think so.

  82. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    If first place yes. That is the goal.

  83. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Where is our buddy philipd at we now have 3 runs. Did he disappear .

  84. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Do the job Stammen.

  85. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Come on Stammen you cannot give back what we scored

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      Yes. Not looking sharp.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        His release point seems left and low of usual.

  86. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I thought Storen was in….

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      The fog is thick but looks like 35

  87. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Come on Stamnen pitch like you usually do this guy doesn’t bat .200

  88. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Need 1 more. Man on third, big at bat

  89. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    That was a good pitch by Stammen… And Really good slide by Castillo….

  90. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Well . . . Stammen had retired 15 straight batters over three outings before the hit tonight . . .

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      Terrible tonight though.

      Two straight games bullpen gave up runs after about 7 very good performances in a row.

      • David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        Hard to count the bullpen yesterday when it was Taylor Hill. But your point is technically correct.

  91. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Crap….

  92. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Ruggiano owns Stammen . . . . sigh . . .

  93. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Oh Stammen. Awful. That walk to Coghlan comes back to haunt.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      When will relievers learn “Thou shall nit walk anyone.”

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        C’mon. Relievers know that. But it’s easier said than done. A pitcher can’t be lights out _every_ time out.

  94. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I think Desi had time to turn the doubleplay on the ball he held onto. That ended up costing us. But Stammen wasn’t sharp, it happens.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      I don’t think he had time… Had he tried to throw it, he would have missed Adam and ended up walking a batter in….

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        I think the deal was that Stammen was a tiny bit late getting over to first, and Desi couldn’t risk the throw with a guy on third.

  95. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Drew who?

  96. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Of course when leave sinker up you are saying hit me, and he did.

    We must score right back

  97. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    You knew Stammen was in trouble… Pitch before was belt high… He got away with that one… Batter adjusted…

    But it’s time to feast on their BP…

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      One of few time Stammen looked poir

  98. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    The ball he took was crush able, the one he swung at almost a guarentee grounder.

  99. Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Also, Ryan’s relay throw to Desi had no zip on it.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      None

    • David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      Desi’s throw was poor, too. Just not a well executed relay all around.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        David, I really think that Zimmerman’s throws are starting to take a toll that doesn’t show up on a stats sheet. He has overall done fine with the glove, but did you see how far out Desi came out for the relay?

  100. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Bunt to third is fine

  101. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Great bunt…

  102. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Anything less than a 4 game sweep is unacceptable!!!!!!

  103. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Who is in first I ask. Why are you so hateful about first place. Regardless of record you make the playoffs if you are in first.

    Rarely dies the ream wuputh best record winsvtge World Series.

    So why can’t you be happy with first place?

    I can’t figure you out.

  104. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    At 10:21 you wrote: “I’ll leave now.”

    I wish you would tell the truth.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      This made me laugh… But I think he posts stuff knowing that people will point him and out go back at him… Which is why I never respond… Once he stops getting attention, he will stop posting… At least that’s how it should work.

  105. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Then Zim needed his double nit double play

  106. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Who is in first

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      So the division stinks, why care, if you are best of stinks you can win the world series, so why try to make everyone feel bad, just because you do? I know we will win the division, so I feel great.

  107. coop202 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    When you were little people must have hated playing board games with you

  108. David Proctor - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    The year the Cardinals won the World Series, Matt Holliday led baseball in DPs. Please continue with your valuable insight.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      I was about to bring up the 2006 world series winners Cardinals with their 83 wins.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      The cards were average in 2006. Won the series

  109. coop202 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Liked ALR bunting there. I know it was probably his choice but I wish/wonder what if MW would preach more small ball. I haven’t researched this but our runners left on base has to be near the top of the league and it feels like so is the number of double plays we ground into. Would playing more for the run rather than the big inning help our chances?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      I like it also. Nats needed base runners.

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Charlie and Dave called it. They said that ALR is our HR hitter, but down by two with nobody on, and the shift on, they said they were giving it to him and that he should bunt. Sure enough, *on the next pitch* ALR bunted.

      As for DP’s — consider this: DP’s hurt, and so they stand out — but, entering today, only one NL team had hit into fewer DP’s than the Nats! Only 41 — league average is 55, and two teams have 70+

  110. adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    You said you would go away. Go already.

    Note to everyone else: Face of the (Oriole) Franchise hit into more DP’s than anyone. Hank Aaron was 3rd lifetime. Carl “Yaz” was 4th. They musta sucked too, eh?

    • coop202 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      The nats have a winning record vs the best teams they’ve played? If we could ever figure out the cards and braves (or just split) we’d be a clear runaway. SWM why do you keep doing this?

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        The flip side is this: even with all our injuries, the Nats have a better record than 10 other teams in the NL Fifth best record in the NL at this point ain’t bubkes!

  111. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Carp “A good inning for Craig there”. After the inning before, I don’t think I’d be complimenting him for a lousy appearance. 2 runs in 2 innings. Not good.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Had a good season, but bad game

  112. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    The umpire just stole a walk from Desmond. That was awful.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      That was not close to a strike, where was MW chirping)

  113. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    For the record I have no doubt the team is not mediocre, I see 90 wins at the end, (I am not a hater)

    • coop202 - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Eh I think we can snag the division at 88 and that’s where we end up. Not ideal, but I also don’t see an NL team ending up with 96 wins either (maybeeee the giants).

      • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        RIght. The Giants have the advantage of three lousy teams in their division.

  114. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    I wish they would work Zim at second. Can’t put him at third at all.

  115. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    We will the next three.

    Stammen didn’t do the job tonight.

  116. manassasnatsfan - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    My lineup Monday since a lefty pitching for Rockies

    Span
    Rendon
    Werth
    Harper
    Zim (1b)
    Desmond
    Ramos
    Espi
    JZim

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 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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