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Game 83: Rockies at Nats

Jul 1, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

Matt Williams could have made changes to his starting lineup tonight, choosing to move guys around the diamond as the Nationals manager has suggested he’ll do now that he has a fully healthy roster again. Or Williams could look at last night’s 7-3 thumping of the Rockies and conclude: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

So, tonight’s lineup card looks exactly like last night’s lineup card. Denard Span is leading off in center field. Anthony Rendon is batting second and playing second. Ryan Zimmerman is back at third base batting fifth. Bryce Harper is in left field batting sixth. Any potential shifting around will have to wait for another day.

Stephen Strasburg, meanwhile, hopes to shift his fortunes from his last start in Milwaukee, where he was roughed up for seven runs. The right-hander talked about mechanical glitches in his delivery, leading to poor fastball command. We’ll see if he was able to address that over the last week.

If you get to the ballpark early today, you’ll be able to watch USA-Belgium on the big screen. Center field gates open at 4:30 p.m., as always, with the full stadium opening at 5:30 p.m. Updates to come…

COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Chance of storms, 92 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (44-38)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg

ROCKIES (36-47)
LF Corey Dickerson
SS Josh Rutledge
1B Justin Morneau
CF Drew Stubbs
C Wilin Rosario
3B Ryan Wheeler
RF Brandon Barnes
2B D.J. LeMahieu
LHP Christian Friedrich

UMPIRES
HP Marty Foster
1B Rob Drake
2B Alan Porter
3B Joe West (cc)

7:08 p.m. — OK, we are underway on a sweltering Tuesday night in the District. The heat index is 97 degrees as Stephen Strasburg starts off Corey Dickerson with a 92-mph fastball for ball one.

7:18 p.m. — The good news: Strasburg’s fastball command was pretty sharp in the top of the first, evidence that he was able to work out his mechanical issues this week. The bad news: The Rockies made him work a ton, especially Justin Morneau, who kept fouling off 2-strike pitches before singling to right. It took Strasburg 21 pitches to face the game’s first three batters. He ends the inning having thrown 24 pitches to four batters in a scoreless inning.

7:41 p.m. — Here come the Nats again. Denard Span and Anthony Rendon each drew walks off Christian Friedrich to start the bottom of the first and set the stage for a rally. Jayson Werth then delivered one of his biggest hits in weeks, smoking a hard chopper past third baseman Ryan Wheeler and down into the left-field corner for a 2-run double. Ryan Zimmerman then drove home Werth with a sac fly. So it’s 3-0 Nats after one (very long) inning.

8:06 p.m. — Strasburg has been much more efficient since the first inning. He has retired six straight on 23 pitches and is now through three scoreless innings, having struck out four. Still 3-0 Nats.

8:26 p.m. — And after 1 hour, 18 minutes, we have completed three innings. Moving a bit slow here tonight.

8:34 p.m. — Sixty-one pitches for Strasburg now through four scoreless. He’s got five strikeouts, including Drew Stubbs twice on curveballs.

9:00 p.m. — Hey, we’ve completed four innings in a scant 1 hour, 52 minutes! The Nats, I would imagine, aren’t too upset by the slow pace of this game, certainly when they’ve opened up a commanding 7-0 lead. They took down Friedrich in the bottom of the fourth, knocking out the Rockies lefty three batters in. Then they continued the beating on reliever Chad Bettis. Strasburg doubled (and could’ve tripled if he had any baserunning sense). Rendon doubled home two runs. Werth doubled home another run, then scored on a wild pitch. So, the healthy Nats lineup has now scored 14 runs in 12 innings. Yeah, yeah, yeah, small sample size, I know. They’re also facing a truly wretched Colorado pitching staff.

9:18 p.m. — To the sixth, Strasburg cruising along at 72 pitches, having scattered three hits so far over five scoreless innings.

9:25 p.m. — Nice job by Strasburg on the tail end of a 3-6-1 double play to end the sixth. He has needed only 61 pitches to complete his last five innings, keeping this a 7-0 Nats lead.

9:45 p.m. — Make it seven scoreless for Strasburg now. Zimmerman has had two throwing chances at third base so far tonight, and though they haven’t had a whole lot of mustard on them, they’ve been right on target. Still 7-0 at the stretch.

9:58 p.m. — We go to the eighth, and Zim is now playing first base, with LaRoche getting the rest of the night off. I wouldn’t be shocked if he started over there tomorrow, with yet another lefty on the mound for Colorado.

10:12 p.m. — Well, Strasburg couldn’t quite finish the eighth. He served up a towering home run to D.J. LeMahieu, then issued his first walk of the night and got the hook from Matt Williams. Still got a well-deserved standing O as he walked off the field. 7-1 Nats now, heading to the bottom of the eighth.

10:26 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 7-1. They’re 7 games over .500 for the first time this season, and they’ll go for the series sweep tomorrow night.

186 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. sjberke - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Surprise here is the Rockies lineup..no Tulowitski! Wonder why?

    • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Day off against the “tough righthander”?

  2. unterp - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Let’s go Nats…

  3. natsbro - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    With an inexperienced pitcher who has struggled his first 2 outings this year and Stras on the mound tonight, we should go in with a lot of confidence. I don’t like saying this in baseball cuz crazy scenarios can happen every night, but these are the games we SHOULD win. Everything lines up in our favor.

    • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      And also that we usually whomp on lefties.

      GYFNG!

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Uh, please knock on wood (or, at the very least, some imitation wood grain product).

  4. Brookstoor - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Mental jitters aside, would it be prudent to give Zim a rest every third or fourth day from playing third base? I say that for his shoulder’s sake. It can’t feel good to have to make more than a couple strong (relative term) throws to first in a game. If his bat heats up we won’t want him on the bench very much at all. Will playing left field every few games be feasible, just to keep the stress off his body? Granted he will still have to make throws from the outfield.

  5. micksback1 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    getting ready to watch USA v Belguim

    just had a chance to read Boz who I do like. It was not one of his best pieces to say the least. my only concern with Bryce is the way it came across, maybe he was trying to articulate that he will work his way back as the clean up or 5th hitter? His comments on Zim should stay in left was strange and I frankly did not understand what he meant as it is a slight to Span. now, he could have been saying that do not move Zim back to 3rd?

    overall, Bryce’s comments the past 3 season are benign as well as his actions, all of this is typical f’d up media trying to make any little mole hill into a mountain.

  6. micksback1 - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    having defended Bryce, he needs to start begin being great, last night was a very good start

    • karlkolchak - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Given last night’s results, I hope Bryce keeps saying what’s on his mind.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        I think you’re drawing the wrong causal connection.

        Obviously, they need to keep giving our Bryce Harper bobbleheads every night.

        Away games too.

  7. masterfishkeeper - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    At least Joe West is not behind the plate tonight. He’ll probably still cause havoc from third base, of course.

  8. jd - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Mick,

    Having Harper in the lineup is huge but what he said yesterday was not benign. It was a major insult to a team mate at minimum and a very stupid and divisive statement with no positive spin whatever. To boot he was 100% wrong because a lineup with Span is much better than a lineup with Espinosa any way you slice it.

    • karlkolchak - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Oh, and Span’s comment about playing next to a lot of “bad outfielders” wasn’t a major (and as it turned out, undeserved) slam on Zimmerman? I’m glad Bryce called him out. He’s a lousy leadoff hitter who hurts his team by not taking pitches and trying to get walks. If Span can’t stand the heat, he should keep his yap shut.

      • Eric - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        When did Span ever indicate he can’t take the heat? The only people that appear to be bugging about this are Boz and some fans.

        Still, you make an interesting point. It’s possible Bryce took exception to Span’s comments about playing alongside some bad outfielders. I thought Span kinda put his foot in his mouth with that comment…

        But, whatever, I could care only very slightly less.

      • nattydc - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        From what I’ve seen it looks like you may be a little off basis with the account of Span bad mouthing the outfield…

        Span said: “I have played with some bad outfielders,” “I played with some guys who had no business being out there.” AND QUICKLY ADDED “I don’t think that is the case here,” when talking about Ryan

        Source: http://www.pressboxdc.com/2014/06/04/ryan-zimmerman-makes-move-to-left-field-for-nationals

        I don’t take Span’s comments to be a slight at anybody on this current team. He definitely needs to step up his game at the plate and understand his role is to get on base and set the table though…

      • Eric - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I agree with you re: Span’s intent…but does Bryce?

    • David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Interesting that what Harper said was a major insult. Was what Ryan Zimmerman said the same?

      “Anthony’s a hell of a third baseman. Having him at third, Danny’s defense at second, I think gives us the best chance to win.”

      Ryan Zimmerman said that. But I agree that Harper was wrong anyway, Span is better than Zim.

      • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        “Anthony’s a hell of a third baseman. Having him at third, Danny’s defense at second, I think gives us the best chance to win.”

        I think the big difference is that when RZ said that, Rendon and Espi were already playing 3rd and 2d.

        In other words, he was simultaneously lowering himself (by saying or implying that Rendon was as good, or better than he was at third) and agreeing with MW’s lineup.

        Harper did neither.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        You are really reaching trying to actually defend what Bryce said, DP… There is no comparison to what Ryan Z said to what Bryce said.

        Ryan was actually saying someone was better than HIM at a position he currently played. Maybe you missed the articles where Ryan said he didn’t feel as comfortable playing 3b becuz of the past and his errant throwing issues. He complimented Anthony moreso than anything…

        What Bryce did was throw lame shots at another member becuz he wants to play a position that is currently locked up. It was extremely childish. He should be thankful and grateful that he is in the line up and telling reporters, I don’t care where they play me… as long as I play, I will do whatever the team needs me to do.

      • David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        I am not defending Bryce. I was the first one who posted his comments here and I immediately said he needs to shut up and a veteran needs to tell him to shut up. However, I don’t see the big difference. Ryan is still basically saying that the best team on the field is without Span, once Harper got back.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        Huge difference.. and I don’t see how you cant see it..

        Ryan wants someone better than him playing a position he had tied up for the TEAM…
        Bryce wants to play CF.. well becuz Bryce has expressed interest in playing it…

  9. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    I could be wrong, but I believe a win tonight would put us a season high 7 games over .500.

  10. Kyle - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    This is a game where the Nats need to win easily. Unfortunately the braves are playing the mets so we won’t gain any ground

  11. Kyle - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Hopefully Harper’s comments don’t create a divide between the players in the clubhouse.

  12. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Why no Tulo… I mean I actually kinda like his style of play…

  13. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 5m
    Williams: “I got to let you guys know something: I got Bryce’s back in every way. He and I are good.” Added there’s “no rift.” Strong stuff.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Sounds like MW is ready to move on.

      Me too!

  14. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Was at last night’s game.

    Win again tonight.

  15. breakbad1 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    PRESS RELEASE–FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Harper Named Nationals Superstar-Manager

    Washington, DC, July 1, 2014: The Washington Nationals announced today that superstar Bryce Harper will be the team’s new manager. (Press note: Reporters are asked to please avoid the term “Player-Manager” and use the term “Superstar-Manager” instead.)

    Former Manager Matt Williams, reached for comment, praised the move. “We needed to find a way to avoid future situations where Bryce would undercut the manager and his teammates. This move solves both problems, and also guarantees Superstar-Manager Harper will get whatever he wants every day. I wish him all the best in the future.”

    Baseball-Reference.com CEO Geoffrey Balk said the promotion for Harper was years overdue. “Just look at his career numbers—batting average versus lefties of .246, 2 outs/RISP average of .226, batting average late in close games of .227. A player who can amass these kinds of numbers in his first three seasons should have been named Superstar-Manager his first day in the majors,” concluded Balk, without hesitation.

    Former Nats Centerfielder Denard Span seemed shaken by the news of Harper’s promotion. “He’s been undermining me for months, saying he should be in center and not me, saying I should be on the bench, doing all this in public. I assume, when he takes my place in center, he will continue his public comments about my lousy play for the Nationals. It hurts, but I understand that Bryce is about Bryce. We all do.”

    The formal press conference announcing the Harper Ascension was held at the National Cathedral. As the incense lifted and Harper appeared, he announced three major cultural changes were needed on the Nationals.

    First, he said, baseball is a game of individual results, not team excellence. “I’m looking to build a team culture where it’s every man for himself, and every slight or perceived grievance is taken directly to the press, behind my back,” said Harper. “A manager, even a Superstar Manager, deserves to be called out each morning in the papers. It builds trust and team cohesion. Most importantly, it has always worked for me.”

    Second, Harper told the wisdom-hungry masses, “It’s time to kill this ‘What’s best for the team’ expression used by Ryan Zimmerman and others.” He expressed his exasperation at how often Zimmerman says he’ll “play any position, in any game, on any day, for the good of the Nationals.” He will direct Zimm (and “the other ‘for the good of the team clown’ Anthony Rendon”) to make regular statements in the press about how “they should only play position X, and that they’re better than their teammate currently playing position Y.” He said this would improve the team’s play and morale, adding, “Just ask Span.”

    The third change, Harper said, was simple: “Hustle is absolutely a matter of individual discretion. If you feel like hustling, do it; if you don’t, fine. If you want to walk to your outfield position as I do between innings, fine. If you want to sulk, fine. The main thing is do what you feel like doing, when you feel like doing it.”

    Although a team bus had been provided for players to make the short trip from the Cathedral to Nationals Park for tonight’s game, everyone but Harper departed in separate cars, driven by their agents.

    • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Zing!

    • 6ID20 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Don’t quit your day job. The Onion ain’t hiring.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Funny as heck… I’m cracking up on the bus….

      I love Harp but he definitely didn’t do himself any favors with his comments…

    • IsawTeddywin - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Since Harper only mentioned the 3 positions, as far as I know, sounds to me like he should have told,
      “So you think Zim plays left field better than you do?”

    • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      +1

    • letswin3 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      Good writing. Funny. Too close to the facts to ignore.

  16. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I want to take a moment to go back to Span’s throw to the plate on the sac fly last night. I was at the game and didn’t want to deal with explaining it while watching the game and also to try to do it on a cell phone. I thought Span made a fine throw and Wilson dropped it. Then it was mentioned that it wasn’t a good throw because it bounced. I said that there are outfielder drills where they are supposed to throw in on a bounce and it was implied that I was saying Puig and several other guys were wrong for throwing directly to the glove. OK, now I want to explain where I was coming from. No, I didn’t say anything about anybody else was wrong on the way they throw, but I am right that outfielders are taught to throw to the plate on one bounce, preferably slightly less of a short hop than Span’s came in. There’s actually three reasons why: 1- You throw high and the catcher has to receive the ball higher and come down to make the tag. It takes longer to make the play then if the ball comes in lower. 2- High throws can come in higher then intended resulting in two possible bad results: Your catcher is extended up and gets his his legs taken out from under him, or the ball sails over his head. 3- and this is maybe the most important why outfielders ideally bring the ball in on a bounce. The lower throw, coming in on line, can be cut off if the situation calls for it.
    I’m not saying that it is always the best way to bring the ball to the catcher, but in my opinion, last night Span threw it in correctly in that situation. I love Ramos, and I’m not trashing the guy just because I thought he dropped a playable throw. It happens. He’s not perfect.
    My son played outfield until he hurt his shoulder in college, but he had the great opportunity to spend extensive time with guys with MLB outfielding experience. One of the drills they worked on to develop the bounce technique was to lay a box, or a small trash can in front of the plate and the fielders were to throw from the various OF positions into the box on one bounce.
    And yes, I have seen many super human throws right to the catcher on the fly. Rick Ankiel’s was maybe the best that I have ever seen. That still doesn’t mean that the bounce throw wrong, but on either technique it’s all for naught if the catcher doesn’t hang on the ball and make the tag.

    • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      From where I was sitting in 314 (JoeS, were you in our section last night too?), Ramos’s body blocked my view of how hard the catch really was. But it sure looked like a catchable ball to me. A tough play, but makeable. In fact, he had time to pick the ball up after dropping it, and make a tag, though too late. I agree entirely with JoeS that the throw was not the problem, the catch was.

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Agree. He should have made the play, buy made up for it on that infield sac RBI.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Yes, we picked up 2 seats in 314 on Stub Hub so as to get my grandsons the bobbleheads. We were in row F.Our regular seats are in sec311, but i really like the view from 314! I also found what clips that I could find on the play and there’s no question that the throw beat the runner by a long shot.

      • snerdblurter - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        I think the bounce was the issue for Ramos. It landed right on the edge of the grass and the dirt so he had to guess on if it was going to take a “grass bounce” or a “dirt bounce” and he guessed wrong.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        I was hanging out in my favorite spot above 313. Great night for a ball game, eh? And yeah, he should’ve had that one.

      • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        Sorry I missed you. Quite a night out there.

      • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        I’m in 314 Row D. I should have just called out — “hey, is Joe Seamhead here?” :-)

  17. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Noticed before the bottom of the 5th, the negative Bellies were having great time. They say they like the team, but they sure have little faith.

    We have the East in the bag.

    • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      We have the East in the bag.

      I.e., “relax, we got this” ? ;-)

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      I think “Negative Bellies” should replace “LOD” as the term of preference.

  18. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Hope Stras doesn’t play that stopper role tonight. For some reason, I got a bad feeling about tonight. I hope I’m wrong.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Negative Nellie. Why you feel bad before it ever starts.

      I assume we will win before any game starts.

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        Rox hit pretty well and Stras should win the game usually spells disaster. I’m usually upbeat….. Stras needs to win me over again.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Tonight we win 9-3.

        Last night my wife’s friend when 7-3 before the game and then it happened.

        Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I agree. All your focus is on Strasburg, but the other side has a team, too.

        Rox are starting Friedrich. He’s a lefty. Nats generally beat up on lefties.

        Besides which, Friedrich has only two starts this year. He gave up 4 runs in the first one, and 5 runs (in 4 IP) in the other one.

        Throw in that, say, CarGo is injured, and I don’t see Tulo in the lineup (do we know why?)

        All that gives you bad feelings?

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        Adcwonk….now its even worse. A game where we should dominate. Ugh.

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Tulo might be one of those who will interfere in the President’s race

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    So if it 0-0 at the end of the game, what does that mean for the US?

  21. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Nevermind now…

  22. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Dang US… Dang.

    • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Belgium was pressuring all game. Howard played excellent, but he isn’t Jesus.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        They gotta about 4/5 good chances in the last 10 minutes or so….

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        At least it didn’t end in a draw and require a shootout. Apart from a coin flip, that’s probably the worst system of determining a winner that I could imagine.

      • snerdblurter - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Jesus Saves!

        [sidesteps lighting bolt]

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        Half my office got sick around 2… I am going to guess that same half won’t be in tomorrow….

  23. knoxvillenat - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    “Trout is a arrogant dude”

    Really? How so?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      He does hair commercials, and then gets all his hair cut off!!!
      The Nerve!

  24. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Mark DeRosa and Howard Reynolds had an interesting take on the Harper situation on MLB Network. They were saying that even though it’s obvious to us that Harper will play every day, maybe he was feeling insecure about his spot and that’s why he’s trying to move Span aside. Mark DeRosa was honest, but complimentary of Harper. He said that Harper has some maturing to do, but he’s one of the best players in the game and works as hard as anybody.

    • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      Yeah, sometimes Harper acts like he’s a college-age kid.

      Oh, wait . . . .

      I mentioned earlier: When Harper hit 3 HR’s for Harrisburg last Sat night, he was the youngest player on the team

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      Charles Peters used to say that the biggest scandals in Washington were when a politician (or government official) told the truth. As a 2010s corollary he might add ‘or whenever Bryce Harper ventures an opinion’…

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      That explanation makes it worst for me… I mean *IF* you’re insecure, you throw someone else under the bus! to make your case… Uhm, never mind.. I’m done with the topic…

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM

      I have a hard time believing Bryce feels insecure about anything.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        +1

    • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      Good point…unfortunately, his public comments inadvertently hurt him by putting more pressure on him than the incredible amount he already has

  25. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Got my Fourth of July tickets successfully exchanged for Jayson Werth Garden Gnome night, so I’m a happy boy.

  26. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    USA needed Howard to do this again.

  27. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Good Luck SS! Good Luck Nats!

  28. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Stras makes it through the 1st. Remember when he was getting pounded every 1st inning? At least those days have passed.

  29. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Take that walk Denard!

  30. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Make him throw Ks….

  31. natszee - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Vegas odds are 8 over … Either they expect the Nats to explode or they expect Strassburg to.

  32. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Werth it!

  33. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Good job, Mr. Werth.. Good job….

  34. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Alright now…. I heard the Nats chant… Way to go y’all!

  35. Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    If the Rockies LF had been watching Justin Upton on opening day, he might have thrown up his hands and held Werth’s hit to a ground rule double.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      I’m surprised he didnt… I was waiting for it… Just makes me lose more and more respect for J Upton….

  36. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Where is was sin? We are ahead again, enjoy….

  37. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Nice at bat. Positive out.

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Good pitch…

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      He set that pitch up well.

  39. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Bryce nice at bat, but not positive out.

  40. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Cut it out, Dez

  41. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Desmond needs to pretend the bases are loaded every at bat.

  42. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    I heard a very weird Nats stat last night. They have only had a total of 10 home runs all year from the outfielders, ( when the guy is playing the OF) . Lowest HR production in MLB.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Heard Phil Wood say that on the drive home after the game.

  43. joemktg - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    DRY TROPICAL STORM!!!!!!!!!!! LMOA!!!!!!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Bob’s bootleg weather.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      actually, the storm will advect in cooler weather behind as it passes Ocean City late Thursday night.
      But it will rain here on Thursday.

  44. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Wonder what Strasburg’s foul ball percentage is. Seems like it must be huge.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Seems high to me.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      Even fouls it himself.

  45. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    My only complaint to many pitches per at bat. 41 pitches 8 batter 5.125 per batter. Hard to get past 5 this way. Economize please.

    • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      manassasnatsfan – Jul 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM
      Negative Nellie. Why you feel bad before it ever starts.

      I assume we will win before any game starts.

      Didn’t take you long to start complaining.

  46. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Could you bunt it worse next time.

  47. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Personnally, I hate Ramos 8th. He is very difficult to bunt over,thereby putting additional pressure on the pitcher to not only bunt it on the ground but bunt it on the ground perfectly. But there is no good number 8 batter on this lineup. They are all too dangerous so you’d not give the number 8 guy anything to hit when it counts.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      maybe span…don’t throw too much at me

      • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        give those fans face masks

  48. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Span woulld have had it Harp.

  49. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    That helps. Now 48 pitches 11 batters 4.78 per batter.

  50. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Mets ahead…i wonder how much they’ll lose by.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      Till the 8th

  51. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    hmmm…one of the best lineups in the majors, but no starting all stars. Just a very balanced team. Maybe with a healthy Harper ….

  52. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Jeez…nobody likes bryce…What a joke ump

  53. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Huh???? What. In. The. World.

    • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      As bad a call as you’ll see.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      It is calls like that, that proponents of laser calls use for their evidence. Unexcusaby poor call.

  54. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Damn….no bases juiced for Dez

  55. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Marty Foster must be more blind than me. If it was close a struggling pitcher a break, but that 6 inches outside. Could only miss that if you closed your eyes and guess.

  56. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    He let him know what he thought, without saying anything. Foster is pathetic as are almost home plate umpires.

    I simply don’t get why calling the ball and strike is that hard.

  57. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Without super slow couldn’t tell. What happened to MASN super slow. Looked tied to me.

  58. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    I feel like the Nats should have more than 3 runs…

    • dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      if it weren’t for MF

  59. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    This. Game. Is. Too. Slow.

  60. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    The “I’ve got Bryce’s back” comment by Williams was welcome, but struck me as kind of weird. I wonder if Harper said in their meeting something like “I need to know you’ve got my back.”

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      MW is trying to relate to Harper with street lingo. That is all.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      The whole thing is nonsense, so it totally BS

    • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Actually, what it sounds like to me is the MW set him straight in private, and then went public with “I’ve got his back” to re-assure Harper.

      • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Also possible. I have a pretty strong feeling, however, that they’re not on one another’s xmas card lists.

  61. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Stras cruising. Glad my bad feeling was unwarranted. .

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      I told you he would be fine, but sometimes it goes fast, so keep an eye out.

    • adcwonk - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      And also — as I mentioned above — the Rockies pitchers aren’t very good.

  62. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Getting a little better 61 pitches 15 batters 4.07 per batter.

    Should make 6 now, possibly 7, but with the heat more likely 6

  63. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    When that ball got past the RF I’m pretty sure I heard Stras say “Oh, sh1t.”

  64. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Hot weather pitchers running. A not good combo.

    The strike 1 to Span looked high.

  65. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Add on runs are needed

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    This SZ is a joke…

  67. dcwx61 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    only a hr will score Stras

  68. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Rendon, my boy!!!!

  69. Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Even Stras had to score on that hit. Sheesh. The guy is a statue out there.

    • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      I googled “station to station” and found Stras’ picture there.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Notice that it took a double to score Stephen Strasburg from third.

  70. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Alright now….

  71. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Rockies pitchers. Not good at baseball throwing related activities.

  72. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Who was it that has been calling for Jayson Werth to be put on the DL?

    • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      A) apologies for flagging your post. I blame my iPad. Totally inadvertent.
      B) NatsJack said “don’t be surprised” and I still agree with him.

      • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        Crap. It disappeared. Must be the only function on the internet that doesn’t ask “are you sure…?”

      • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Ah. All better now.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        I hit that damned report comment button all of the time with my iPad.
        I don’t think a slump is grounds for a trip to the DL, though Jayson could probably benefit from a day or two off.
        Desi, too.

  73. Candide - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Late to the show here, but seems to me the “NATS NATS NATS WOOO!” crowd is particularly loud tonight. Or they’re well-miked.

    This is not a complaint.

    • ArVAFan - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      The number of participants and participating sections has been gradually increasing. So it might be that. Or it might just be the weather: sound travels well through water, and the humidity is pretty darn high.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      It’s definitely spreading.

    • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      I hate that JETS chant

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        Why?

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        Because its JETS chant? Come up with something original.

      • dcwx61 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        its the caps chant too

  74. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Rockies brought the big time suck tonight.

  75. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Two hours to play four innings. That is not right.

  76. natsbro - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    I love that Dan Kolko just referenced Seinfeld…”Drew Storen channeling his inner Arthur Vandelay”

  77. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Yay Zim! Nice pick, and the throw? Well, it got there.

  78. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Strasburg! Quick as a cat! :-D

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      Strasburg channeling his inner Strasburg.

  79. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Give Ramos a pinch runner here.

    • stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      Seems like a good idea. I’ll keel over if it happens.

  80. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Great night for Werth.

  81. Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Strasburg sure looks like that head case tonight…
    Seriously, this has been one of his most complete all around games as a pro ballplayer.

    Werth 2-2, 2 BBs, 3RBI’s, 2 runs scored. Not bad.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Strasbourg when there is no pressure is super solid.

  82. stoatva - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Kudos to Stras for his work on that 3-6-1 DP. That’s what I’m talkin about.

  83. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Who would think Strasbourg would start the 8th. Good job on a hot muggy night.

  84. coop202 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Can we spot 2-3 runs to the mets…

  85. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    When you hang them, they bang them.

    Settle down get these 2 outs.

  86. David Proctor - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Real aces don’t give up home runs. Ever.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      That’s funny.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Stephen Strasburg averages 17 HRs given up per season. Bob Gibson averaged 17 HRs given up per season.

      On the other hand, Mr. Strasburg averages 0 complete games per season, while Mr. Gibson averaged 17.

  87. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    That Strasburg sure does suck. smh Great outing Stras. Wish you were done after 7 but that’s ok. Well deserved standing O.

    • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      He sure does sometimes. Already forget his previous start?

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        I don’t care what anybody says, I’m glad that Strasburg is on our team.

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        Me too. Hopefully the consistency will come with time.

      • veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        I’m just not in the bunch that thinks this guy walks on water and cannot be criticized.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Walks on water, sure … the bum can’t even swim! Trade him for somebody with real aquatic skills!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        He threw a clunker last week, it happens. If he’s very good in at least 2 of 3 starts or better, then he’s fine. That goes for all pitchers. I don’t rate him right now as an elite Ace. He’s still got a lot to prove but is good as this team’s #3.

  88. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Stammen I hate starters walking guys, but really hate relievers do it. Start off 0-2 then you nibble kike our lefties do.

    • Section 222 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      You seriously complained about this when we were up 7-1. Get a life man.

  89. dcvelobrew - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I guess MW is sending a bit of a message to Espinosa by putting Frandsen in at 2B late again. When was the last time that Espi got on the field? Last Friday?

  90. manassasnatsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Third straight 7 runs game.

  91. veejh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Solid win.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
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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