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Game 84: Rockies at Nats

Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

If Matt Williams’ grand plan is to move guys around the field and throughout his lineup on a daily basis, he isn’t doing it yet. The Nationals tonight are fielding the same lineup they used the previous two nights with only one exception: Jose Lobaton is catching, with Wilson Ramos getting the night off.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with continuity. And there’s nothing wrong with sticking with what has worked quite well the last two nights. You’ve got to wonder, though, what this says for Danny Espinosa. If he’s not going to get a chance to play on a night in which the Nats are facing a left-hander for the third straight day, and on a night when Doug Fister is pitching and thus infield defense might take priority over offense, when exactly do you think he will get a chance to play?

Anyway, let’s keep things positive here: The Nationals are seeking a series sweep of the Rockies and a 5-game winning streak overall, their ninth win in 12 games. And don’t forget the special, early 6:05 p.m. starting time tonight, with postgame fireworks afterward. Updates to come…

COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (45-38)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Doug Fister

ROCKIES (36-48)
RF Charlie Blackmon
CF Drew Stubbs
1B Justin Morneau
SS Troy Tulowitzki
LF Corey Dickerson
3B Ryan Wheeler
C Michael McKenry
2B D.J. LeMahieu
LHP Tyler Matzek

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

5:45 p.m. — Uh-oh, the Nats just announced that the start of the game will be delayed. There’s no rain yet, but it’s approaching. It’s also 97 degrees with a heat index of 104 as I type this. Stay tuned for updates.

6:15 p.m. — The game will start at 6:30 p.m., the team announced.

6:35 p.m. — And we’re underway after a 30-minute delay. It never actually rained here, though it did look threatening for a bit. Doug Fister fires strike one to Charlie Blackmon to get this one started.

6:39 p.m. — And that’s a 1-2-3 top of the first for Fister, ending with a bang. Ian Desmond made a fantastic, over-the-shoulder, diving catch of Justin Morneau’s soft liner to shallow left field. Just a great play by Desmond to cap the inning.

6:46 p.m. — D.J. LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki spit on Desmond’s play. My lord, what a 4-6-3 double play they turned in the bottom of the first, with LeMahieu diving to catch the ball going up the middle and flipping to Tulo, who caught the ball barehanded and spun before making a perfect throw to get Anthony Rendon by a half-step. Do yourself a favor and watch the replay of that one later tonight. You won’t see a prettier double play turned all season.

6:59 p.m. — The Rockies suddenly started smoking the ball off Fister in the top of the second, with Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson each singling to open the inning, then Ryan Wheeler smacking a hard line drive to center (though right at Span). The big blast, though, came from backup catcher Michael McKenry, who launched a 3-run homer off the back wall of the left-field bullpen to leave the crowd here stunned. It’s 3-0 Colorado in the middle of the second.

7:12 p.m. — More brilliant defense by the Rockies infield in the bottom of the second. After Ryan Zimmerman drew a leadoff walk, Bryce Harper drilled a grounder toward first base. Morneau made a great snag of it, stepped on first and then threw to second to complete the 3-6 double play. Matt Williams challenged the call, believing Zimmerman slid under the tag, but New York couldn’t find any conclusive evidence to overturn it. So the Nats are still down 3-0 after two.

7:33 p.m. — I think Zimmerman has had nothing but tough plays to make in his 2-plus games since going back to third base. And he’s made them all flawlessly, including a sharp grounder to his right in the top of the fourth that required a nifty pick and then a strong throw to second base for a force out. We still have to see what happens on an old-fashioned routine grounder, but no complaints about how he’s looked over there so far. Still 3-0 Rockies, middle of the fourth.

7:50 p.m. — And just like that, the Nats tie this game back up in the bottom of the fourth. I wrote earlier today how Jayson Werth was hopeful that a foul ball he hit in his first at-bat last night was a sign of good things to come. Well, it was. He just blasted a 2-run homer toward the Red Porch, continuing his torrid couple of nights. After going 42 plate appearances without any extra-base hits, he now has three of them in his last seven plate appearances. In these two games, he’s 4-for-5 with two doubles, the homer, five RBI and two walks. Impressive. Also impressive: Harper, who turned a bloop base hit to shallow left field into a hustle double, then took third on a wild pitch, then scored on Desmond’s RBI single. So it’s 3-3 all of a sudden and Doug Fister has new life.

8:12 p.m. — A couple of nice plays in the outfield in the top of the sixth. Harper came charging in to catch a sinking liner by Tulowitzki. And Span ranged well into left-center to catch up to Wheeler’s line drive. Five in a row retired by Fister. Still 3-3, going to the bottom of the sixth.

8:24 p.m. — Wow, another dazzling play at third base by Zimmerman. This time he dove to his left to snag a hot shot, then threw from his knees across the diamond for the out. Fister, meanwhile, has retired 11 of the last 12 batters he’s faced. Stretch time here, still 3-3.

8:40 p.m. — Triple for Desmond in the bottom of the seventh. No, wait. Make it a homer after the umps in New York reviewed it. The ball did appear to hit off the top of the fence, then ricochet off the railing behind it. So it’s 4-3 Nats as we go to the eighth, and now Matt Williams will pull Zimmerman for defense, moving Rendon to third and inserting Espinosa at second base. Tyler Clippard in from the bullpen as well.

8:50 p.m. — Nice job by Clippard, striking out Tulowitzki on a splitter to end the top of the eighth and protect this 1-run lead. Tyler had a fist pump as he hopped off the mound there. Still 4-3, with the Nats looking for insurance before Rafael Soriano takes the mound.

8:59 p.m. — Here we go, it’s Soriano vs. Dickerson, Wheeler and McKenry in the ninth, with the Nats clinging to a 1-run lead.

9:16 p.m. — Ballgame. Soriano strands the tying runner on third and the Nats win 4-3 to sweep the series and extend their winning streak to 5 games. They’re 8 games over .500 for the first time this season.

286 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. unterp - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Let’s go Nats…

  2. IsawTeddywin - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I suspect MW is more concerned with making sure RZ can play 3rd safely, and he’s not going to sit Rendon to play Espi, Rendon needs to solidify his 2nd base skills for now. And after last night, he might be making sure Ian’s waking up at the bat also.

  3. masterfishkeeper - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    I really wish he’d start Danny, in all seriousness. I’m beginning to think MW doesn’t like changing things that are working. I can understand to some degree, but how do you keep your bench involved?

    • adcwonk - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Yep — as I wrote in a prior thread — I think (without looking anything up) that when the Nats do well on offense, MW likes to keep the same lineup the next day. If it ain’t broke, etc. . . .

      • therealjohnc - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        And to add my note from a prior thread, giving Danny a start in a game where Ramos isn’t playing also creates a lot of holes in your lineup (Espinosa, Lobaton, pitcher). All other things being equal I think it’s more likely that the bench guys work in during games where Ramos starts – Espinosa versus LHP or McLouth versus RHP.

      • adcwonk - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Yep — that’s a good point.

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Just had time to speed-watch my recording of the remainder of last night’s game (kinda sorta fell asleep on the couch during the early innings and went to bed during the middle innings), and now it’s almost time for tonight’s game. Go, Doug! Go, NATS!!

  5. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    I fear that Matt will put Espinosa in against a RHP, which makes no sense.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      Lets hope not but if he does I’m hoping the rest has cleared Danny’s brain and he gets back to the short lefty swing he had in April.

  6. Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Repeating my reply to laddie’s comment that we will re-sign ALR next and Zim will play LF:

    laddie, you make a good case for your position, but I see it much differently. I do agree that Zim won’t be the regular 3B next year. But I disagree that LF is where he’s headed. First, Zim has escaped without major mishap in left so far, but his poor throwing arm was clear for all to see. There were already a few cases where it was a clear that Harper or another outfielder would prevent a runner from advancing and as teams see more of him, they will take more advantage. You can’t really “take advantage” of a 3B or 1B without an arm. LF is another story.

    Second, 1B is just not as difficult a position to play, even with a bum arm. There’s no reason at all that he has to handle relay throws, how many times have you seen ALR throw a relay from the outfield? He’s the cutoff man on throws to home, but that’s different. Also, a 3-6-3 throw for a righty can easily be a sidearm throw, as can most plays off of bunts. None of them demand the power or distance that throws from the outfield, or even 3B do. With some practice, I’ll bet he can make almost any throw from the 1B position adequately. You simply cannot say that about LF.

    Finally, you and many others seem to assume that Rizzo is fine with Bryce becoming our longterm CF. I don’t buy that for a minute. He was drafted as a corner outfielder. That’s where Rizzo thinks he should play to maximize his longevity, and there’s just no evidence that he’s changed his view on that. That’s why he traded for Span after Harper’s very successful 2012 in which he mostly played CF. In this unusual year, of course he’ll play some center, but I don’t see a regular corner outfield spot in our lineup open for Zim until Werth is ready to move on. By then, Zim will be playing a gold glove 1B and we’ll all be wondering what the big debate is.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      + 1 on every point, well except maybe the part of 1B Zimmerman getting a GG

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Yeah, that was a bit of wishful thinking I admit.

    • chazzmichaelmichaelzz - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Are you suggesting Rizzo takes Span’s option on 2015? Or, Rizzo finds another CF.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        That remains to be seen. I think it’s more likely they pick up Span’s option than they pick up ALR’s, and ALR’s is a mutual option, so we can’t be sure he’d accept a one year deal — though it’s alot of money.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        If I had to guess, they’ll take Span’s option.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Since we’re speculating far in advance anyway:

      Does the fact of ALR’s having an option for 2015 affect whether the Nats can make him a qualifying offer?

      Because it’s a mutual option, the Nats could pick up their portion and he could decline, as folks have pointed out. But then could the Nats make him a QO after he declined the option?

      The QO, as we’ve seen (and as ALR saw after 2012), is a big deterrent to other teams. Obviously, going that route would cost the Nats a coupla extra million above what’s in the contract for 2015 now.

      Not saying the Nats would or should do this (I’m not even sure they will or should pick up their part of the option). Just curious if anyone knows what’s possible.

      • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Yes, they could still put the QO on him. My question is what happens with the offset. He’s due $2M if his option is not picked up. Do you have to pay him that money on top of the new contract or is it absorbed in the new contract? Not sure how that works.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Thanks, DP.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      “Finally, you and many others seem to assume that Rizzo is fine with Bryce becoming our longterm CF. I don’t buy that for a minute.”

      OK, but I don’t see why not. If Bryce wants to play CF, he is going to play CF. He has made that absolutely clear, and I believe him. If Rizzo does not accommodate that, there are certainly one or two other teams that will. I don’t think Rizzo is going to let that happen. If he does, then he is not nearly as smart as I have thought he was.

      “Second, 1B is just not as difficult a position to play, even with a bum arm.”

      The how come La Roche could not play 1b when he had a bad throwing arm?

      “You can’t really ‘take advantage’ of a 3B or 1B without an arm.”

      That’s not the way La Roche felt. When his throwing arm was hurting he said he could not make the plays that a first baseman should be able to make, as I recall. That was his opinion from his own first-hand experience, and he probably has a better handle on that than either of us.

      There were many instances of teams taking advantage of Ryan’s inability to throw over from 3b to 1b accurately. I am surprised you would even suggest that they did not. All they had to do was run to 2nd after one of his throws sailed over ALR’s head, or score from 2nd or 3rd as it bounced up the RF line. Not to mention taking advantage of the extra outs such errors presented them with. I am presuming you misspoke on that.

      You are forgetting that Ryan has a chronically bad shoulder that will probably just get worse. When he showed up for ST this year, he could not even throw a baseball, at all. If they do not bring back La Roche and Ryan cannot go next year, they are up the creek without a paddle, but if Ryan cannot play LF, they have several very viable options in the minors, probably starting with Steven Souza, who is killing AAA at a .360 clip, hitting with power, stealing bases, etc, etc, etc. All they have in the minors to fill in behind at 1b is Tyler Moore and, perhaps, Matt Skole.

      Letting La Roche go without a viable backup to Zim at 1b is a needless gamble, IMO. You are assuming that Zim will be able to play next year. Those cortisone shots he reportedly took last year have taken a toll. I did a little research at the Mayo Clinic web site this morning on the risks to taking even a single cortisone shot, and Zim reportedly had 4 last year. I suspect he has had at least one or two more this year. One of the side effects of injecting cortisone into a joint, according to the Mayo Clinic, is cartilage damage, and the shoulder has plenty of cartilage. Whatever they “cleaned out” from Zim’s shoulder last year probably included some degenerated cartilage tissue.

      I’ll go get the link and post it so you can read it, for yourself. I know the Nats have their medical staff, but that did not prevent Zim from suffering from something last year that required post-season surgery to “clean out” that shoulder. As I recall, Matt specifically cited “degeneration” to Zim’s shoulder at some press conference, which fits the description of cartilage damage I found at the Mayo Clinic site.

      That is something that the Nats have undoubtedly considered, but their optimism over various player’s medical conditions have proven, all too often, to be wishful thinking, including their erroneous opinion that La Roche could play 1b with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. They were wrong about that, and I see no reason to think they may not be wrong about Zim, as well. Right or wrong, there is no good reason to take needless risks when you do not have to.

      That is not sound management practice, IMO, whether you are talking Wall St., Main St. or Half St.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      222 the Mayo Clinic link:

      http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cortisone-shots/basics/definition/prc-20014455

      Click on the “Risks” link to get the skinny on potential damage to joints injected with cortisone. I don’t think there is any reasonable doubt that Zim has suffered from one, or more, of those side effects, and could suffer further damage if those shots continue to be administered to him. That is between him and the team, of course. My only point is that the team should take precautions to cover the possibility of even further damage to the point where Zim’s abilities are no longer sufficient to play the game the way it is meant to be played.

      I certainly hope that doesn’t happen, but hope is not a strategy..

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Interesting stuff, and I agree there’s a risk the Nats need to weigh. I assume they won’t do anything rash on the ALR front without some serious medical information on Zim. By the way, Zim’s multiple cortisone shots were in 2012, not last year, IIRC.

        Your dire warnings about Zim make it sound like you’re ready to let him ride into the sunset after this season. Yet in the last thread you were ready to pencil him in as our regular LF in 2015. Which is it?

        By the way, in an attempt to find a little history about Zim’s shoulder, I ran across your comments from March 2013 singing the praises of Anthony Rendon. There were several posters who said things like “he hasn’t done anything yet….” Please feel free to take a victory lap.

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        I will not take victory laps until and unless I can finish a marathon.

        “By the way, Zim’s multiple cortisone shots were in 2012, not last year, IIRC.”

        I believe he had them last year, as well. Remember his great 2nd half, when he even managed to make relatively accurate throws to 1b? I thought he would come right out of the gate this year after seeing him play defense and hit like he did late last year.

        Instead, he had to have off-season surgery. Are you the poster who said he doesn’t believe in coincidences? Well, I don’t either.

        “Your dire warnings about Zim make it sound like you’re ready to let him ride into the sunset after this season. Yet in the last thread you were ready to pencil him in as our regular LF in 2015. Which is it?”

        My concerns about Zim have mostly to do with risk management, and the warnings have to do with not adequately addressing the risks inherent in Zim’s medical status, especially if they are continuing to inject that shoulder with cortisone.

        In that regard, it is less risky to play Zim in LF, where the risk of inability to perform could be much more easily managed than if he was handed the 1b job with no adequate provision to address the same risk there. Even in the event he can play either position, he is likely to do more damage at 1b than in LF. Again, it is about managing risk. I cited ALR’s recent example in support of that, while all you have offered is your own opinion. With all due respect, I will go with ALR’s opinion about the effect of a bad throwing arm on the ability to play first base, or not.

        It is the question of sound management that I am addressing.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      “I don’t buy that for a minute. He was drafted as a corner outfielder. That’s where Rizzo thinks he should play to maximize his longevity, and there’s just no evidence that he’s changed his view on that.”

      I would point out that Bryce played CF without getting hurt as a rookie for most of the year, but when Davey moved him to RF, he was hurt very badly, not once, but twice, within a very short period of time. Maybe Mike did not take notice of that, but I did. Right field is where most teams locate those awful electronic score boards, which have no padding in most places, and where Bryce suffered his worst injuries. The walls in Cf are usually padded, or are plexiglass with some give.

      If you are concerned about longevity, the decision is not as simple as it appears. Bryce’s career could have ended with that second collision with the RF wall in LA.

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Rizzo doesn’t pick up the options on either Span or Laroche. To much money for what can be replaced in house.

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        What’s your take, Jack, for CF and 1st base? Money talks, for sure.

      • conatsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:31 PM

        + 1

    • JamesFan - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      They’ve got some real talent on the way for center even if Span goes. I agree that center is not the plan for Harper–and should not be.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      +2

  7. Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Calling all Insiders. If you’re looking for tix for tonight, I have two seats in Section 314 Row D (right behind home plate under the pressbox) that are going unused. List price is $26 each. You can have them for $15 for one, or $25 for the pair. Game time is 6:05 pm with fireworks to follow. I can email the tickets to you up until about 5:30 pm. Contact info is on the NIDO BBS at:

    http://prettyfrickenbueno.wordpress.com/whos-going/his-her-ni-bbs/

  8. Theophilus T.S. - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    The reason you don’t want Harper as your full-time CF is you don’t want your power-hitting phenom with the Josh Hamilton-sized body wearing himself out running all over the widest part of the OF and intimidating walls. We saw what happened to Hamilton. Much better save that job for someone who has a less impactful role in the offense and can run all day. I’m not saying Harper won’t wind up there much of next year but there are valid reasons that should not be more than a short-term possibility.

    • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Did Mike Rizzo steal your password? I think that’s exactly his thinking. :-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        I agree and think Bryce’s current fascination has more to do with Trout playing the CF.

        He needs to be RF and no matter how good ALR IS in 2014 that page has to be turned and RZim finishes his career at 1B and Skole hopefully can be his backup off the bench.

        TyMo needs to be traded as there’s no room for him.

    • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      If he didn’t steal it, I hope you held out for big bucks before renting him your account for the hour.

    • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Except the walls are far more tricky in the corners and CF. CF is usually pretty routine. The corners have all sorts of quirks. He hurt himself twice in RF, never in CF. I don’t understand why Bryce’s preference is irrelevant in all of this. The thinking seems to be he should shut up and not complain, and I agree to an extent especially for this year, but long-term, he should be where he’s comfortable. And he’s clearly more comfortable in CF.

      I don’t think Mike Rizzo sees it this way, but that’s my opinion.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        DP, I hear you about Bryce’s preference, and yes, I think in this case he should take the advice of people who have far more experience in the game than he does and live with it. He probably wanted to play catcher too when he was 18 years old.

        As for the corners, you don’t really believe that in terms of wear and tear on the body, their trickiness outweighs the amount of ground that a CF has to cover, do you? That’s kind of laughable.

      • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Last year, the Angels moved Trout to LF for the same reason. He didn’t like it there, wasn’t as good there and asked to be moved back. They moved him back and he went right back to being excellent. Somehow he’s surviving. I just don’t buy the whole wear and tear argument.

        Is there any solid data that shows CFers age less gracefully than corner OFers? I haven’t seen any.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        I don’t doubt that there is some question of personal comfort, but also wonder if $$$ isn’t on his mind, too–or at least, on Boras’s mind.

        A proven CF who can put up Harp’s #s at the plate will be worth more than a corner OFer with the same #s.

      • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Very possible. But both by the metrics and eye test, Harper was far superior in CF to the corners. He looks like an average at best LF with a great arm. He looked and graded out as well above average in CF. So I believe him. But you’re correct that he’d be worth way more in CF.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        Unfortunately, with each passing year, we are seeing that Bryce Harper is not Mike Trout.

        Harper is going to get paid a lot of money, maybe a historic amount of money, regardless of what position he plays. I kind of doubt that that’s what’s motivating Harper (or Boras) to covet Span’s job. I totally doubt that that’s what motivated Rizzo to want to make him a corner outfielder.

      • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        My point wasn’t to say that Bryce Harper is Trout as a player, but that there’s precedent for it happening. I just brought Trout up because it was almost the exact same scenario. Harper was a plus defender in CF, he’s an average at best defender in LF. He wants to be in CF. He can help the team more in CF. I don’t see any legitimate reason for him not to be there next year except for some fear that maybe it wears him out down the road. Unless I see something that shows CFers wear out more quickly than corner OFers, I’m not buying it.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Also, I thought the Angels moved Trout because they wanted to have Bourjos play center, and then moved him back because Bourjos got hurt (and then was traded to the Cardinals). I’ve never seen anything that suggested that the Angels preferred him to play a corner outfield position because of wear and tear, have you?

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        I get your point. I disagree that he’s played enough in either position for you to definitively conclude that he’s a plus defender in CF and, particularly, average at best in LF. I think he’s probably a plus defender at either position. Certainly, he has a plus arm.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      There are valid reasons to wish that Bryce will be satisfied as a corner outfielder, but Bryce has a mind of his own, and neither Rizzo nor anyone else can do anything about it. Do you have any kids? Then you know what I mean.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        They can’t do anything about his mind, his penchant for running his mouth, or his desire to play CF. But they sign his checks and they can tell him to play LF or RF and he can’t do anything about that except sign somewhere else in 2019.

      • 6ID20 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        So you let your kids tell you what to do? That’s pretty sad.

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        “So you let your kids tell you what to do? That’s pretty sad.”

        Of course not. I just don’t tell them what to do. Do you? Do they listen?

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        “They can’t do anything about his mind, his penchant for running his mouth, or his desire to play CF. ”

        Of course they can. Or they can alienate the franchise’s most marketable player and lose him in 2019, just when he will be reaching his peak years of production and drawing power. If this is about money, then the Nats stand to make a lot more over a longer period of time by working with the kid, instead of thwarting him. He is the one holding the long-term hand, not the Nats.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Theo, Bryce suffered severe injuries last year while playing corner outfield, specifically RF, and especially RF in LA. He played most of his rookie year in CF without any major problem.

      “We saw what happened to Hamilton.”

      Did you see what happened to Bryce?

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    “@AdamKilgoreWP: Matt Williams says he sees Bryce Harper hitting 2nd, 3rd and 4th later this season. Keeping at sixth because he’s coming back from injury.”

    • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Good to hear. I also thought that since he has ALR batting 4th, he didn’t want two LH batters clumped together. Plus, we’re facing our third lefty in a row. Much harder to justify Zim or Werth batting 6th against a lefty.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Hard to justify Span leading off against a lefty, too, but MW probably doesn’t want to mess with Span’s head.

      • bowdenball - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Span’s career and 2014 splits are pretty even.

        Harper and LaRoche both have weak career numbers against lefties but pretty good 2014 numbers.

        Personally I’d probably give Harper a day off and use the lineup they favored before his DL return. Let him ease into it and give Espinosa a chance to face a lefty and play behind a ground ball pitcher. But I can understand Williams not wanting to do that, if for no other reason than to avoid the feces-storm he would stir up if Harper were benched after Monday’s comments.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I agree on Span’s splits, but our righthanders are very tough on lefties, so I’d rather see them moved up.

      • bisonaudit - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Span’s OBP splits are pretty even, but all that means is he shouldn’t be leading off in the first place. He’s hit for less extra base power against LHP.

  10. natsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    I think the CF in a very short time after this year will be Michael Taylor making a lot of this conversation moot.

    • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Hope you’re right. Was it you that said last year or the year before that Brian Goodwin would make the conversation moot?

  11. natsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    The deal is that Taylor has improved at every level and Goodwin has not.

  12. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Unless Taylor cuts down the strikeouts, he has no chance. You can’t strike out 30% of the time at AA and expect to have a shot at the major league level where guys throw with much better command.

    • bowdenball - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Bingo.

      You’d think Nats fans would have learned their lesson after watching guys like Corey Brown and Tyler Moore and Zach Walters and Danny Espinosa rake in the minors and mostly fail miserably when facing major league pitching, but it seems we just can’t shake the habit.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        There’s a name for this habit bowdenball: “peric syndrome.”

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Named, of course, for our departed colleague who thought that Matt Antonelli was going to be the Nats’ next shortstop and Espi was headed to the Hall of Fame.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        Yep. Hope Taylor continues to improve.

    • quixote2030 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      On the other hand, Souza has played really well for the last three seasons, perhaps getting even better as he has moved up levels, and is currently tearing up AAA. He is hitting for average and power, drawing walks, has speed on the bases, and has perfectly acceptable strikeout numbers. By some reports he isn’t a pull power hitter either. He seems more rounded and potentially better overall at the plate than Moore, and he is certainly athletic enough for the outfield. If he comes up in September and shows he can do it at the major league level is it possible that Nats management wouldn’t pick up options for Span or LaRoche, e.g., Souza LF, Harper CF, Zimm 1B?

      Maybe no one would be willing to gamble on Souza in a full time MLB role, but it would save a lot of money and potentially give us funds to improve elsewhere or retain guys like Zimmermann/Desmond/Fister. I’m personally fine with giving Harper the CF role next year. Let him be happy until he becomes a Yankee, and if he wears out over time it’s probably going to show up most dramatically in his next uber-contract.

    • therealjohnc - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Just to follow up on strikeouts, Stephen Souza is striking out in 18.08% of his plate appearances at AAA … and walking in 12.92% (49K/35BB in 271 plate appearances). In the modern game that’s pretty impressive plate discipline, and is almost as impressive as his .358 batting average and 1.038 OPS.

      I have no problem with Souza playing AAA for now, getting regular playing time while Harper, Werth, Span and now Zimmerman get the lion’s share of OF work in DC. But even though Hairston has actually been good in his limited role this year Souza easily has the inside track to take at least that spot on the roster next year, and if the Nats let Span go then Souza, Hood, Taylor and Goodwin may well be fighting over two spots in Nats Town next year.

  13. Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    It’s a long way from AA to being a successful big league player for all but the phenoms. Tyler Moore moved right up the ladder from High A in 2010 to Double AA in 2011, hitting over 30 HRs in successive seasons.

    Then he encountered major league pitching.

    He also struck out at about the same rate as Taylor is now. Just sayin’…

    • natsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Difference is that Taylor is being flagged by scouts all thru MLB. Espinosa was already being written down in college by scouts as having a very long swing left handed. Antonelli, Bynum, Padilla et al were just 4A players acquired by Rizzo as cannon fodder in AAa that Peric got all excited about. Further, AA is considered the level with the true prospects not AAA. If they put you in AAA and you stay for awhile you are a 4A player ie Tyler Moore.

    • jd - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      222,

      Moore is back to tearing up AAA pitching. I do feel that he has nothing left to prove there. If we have no plans to try and give him a full time job we need to let him try elsewhere.

      Yours and Bowdenball’s comments re the difference between the minor and the majors are valid but somewhere down the line you have to graduate some farm hands. You can’t have everyone making $10 mil a year or more. This is not a sustainable business model.

      I know it won’t happen this year barring further injury but sometime soon I think it would be reasonable to give Souza a full shot.

      • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        I’m all for graduating farmhands, as long as they can hit major league pitching. As for TyMo, yes, for sure he has nothing left to prove. He’s injury insurance this year, but I expect he’ll be gone next year, hopefully traded for something useful. He’s not going to get a full time job with this team. Sad but true.

      • jd - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        I think Taylor has a ways to go before he can be considered major league ready. Souza on the other hand is obliterating AAA pitching and it’s hard to find any negatives in any of them. I know it’s not major league pitching but how do you know someone can hit in the big leagues until you try?

        As we learned with Moore you can do this by asking a young player to get 5 at bats a week and expect to see reasonable progress, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith based on a good chance for success. For example I wouldn’t mind if we go into 2015 with an outfield of Werth,Harper and Souza (Zim at 1st).

    • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Of course the big difference between Moore and Taylor is that Taylor is considered an elite defensive CFer. I’ve read scouting reports that said they think he’d be a top 5 defender in CF TODAY. He can provide a ton of value that way even if he doesn’t hit much.

  14. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    With a third lefty in a row would be a good to play Espi.

    Line up could have been

    Span
    Rendon
    Werth
    Harper
    RZim 1b
    Desmond
    Espinosa
    Lovoton
    Fister

    • adcwonk - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      I hear you — except that ALR, over his last 12 games, is slashing .340/.407/.596, with 4 HR’s (three of them in his last five games) — it’s hard to sit a guy like that down!

  15. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    With Hammels pitching Friday a good day to give Werth off. Two day break with off day tomorrow.

  16. bisonaudit - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    With a day off tomorrow and then three RHP (and all day games) I’m not sure why Lobaton and not Ramos. There’s not much in it but Lobaton is a somewhat better version of himself against RHP compared to LHP.

    He he was going to play Espinosa it should have been in one of these three as well.

    • Section 222 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Thanks for posting this. I wasn’t surprised to see Souza and Hill, but the Onion also made the ASG. Cool.

  17. letswin3 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    It’s July, for crying out loud, but someone remind this coming winter to discuss moving Werth to first base for ’15. That’s right, Jason Werth. Solves lotsa concerns with one fell swoop (sp). Werth could prosper health-wise and wear-wise in the final few years of his contract (he’s already in his mid-30′s) by leaving right field. The loss of ALR’s contract would free up some needed cash and Zim would fit in every day at RF without displacing anyone. Then they could discuss the merits of keeping or shipping Span, relative to who has or hasn’t looked ready for the show in right field. Harper could fit needs in either center or right, and the club would find positions for everyone. Oh yeah, remind me also to worry about who would play second base.

    • letswin3 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Jeeeeez, I meant that Zim would fit in every day at LEFT field.

    • NatsLady - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      My feeling is: Next year RZ (left) Span+understudy (center) Harper (right) is the outfield, with Werth to 1B. I willbe sorry to see LaRoche go, but you can’t keep everyone.

      • NatsLady - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        Or, swap RZ and Werth, that is, RZ at 1B and Werth in left (same reason, less wear and tear in LF). BTW, yes, Trout insisted on playing center. He was not the Angels choice at CF, and he’s probably not as good defensively as their other choices, but they went with it. I remember specifically, because it was the first “negative” thing I’d read about Trout. However, if it made him better offensively–which I suppose is possible–then I guess it’s worth it.

      • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        You really think Werth is going to 1B?

  18. janebeard - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    I’d be worried if I were Danny. But I like this lineup.
    Headed to the park now!
    GYFNG!!

  19. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    So Chris Young, he who was hurt last year at Syracuse and was in camp with us this Spring, just won his 8th game for the Mariners.

    Didn’t see that coming.

  20. Nats fool - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Harper needs to stay healthy. If so, he will either play center here, or he will play center in pinstripes. I doubt ALR, Zimm, or Werth will be playing when he hits free agency. Of course, you can trade him when the time comes and ignore him now. All of this is moot if he can’t stay healthy. If you do want to make a long-term play for him, moving him sooner to center would be wise and talking to MW would also be smart. I feel we will trade him so make him earn his value.

  21. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Earlier in this thread David Proctor wrote on the question of how qualifying offers work if a player has an option: “Yes, they could still put the QO on [Adam LaRoche]. My question is what happens with the offset. He’s due $2M if his option is not picked up. Do you have to pay him that money on top of the new contract or is it absorbed in the new contract? Not sure how that works.”

    I looked it up on MLBTR and, as best I can tell, a team can only make a QO if a player is about to become a free agent. For the player to reach that status (i.e., entering free agency) the team has to exercise the ‘buy out’ portion of the option. Thus, the player would get the $2m (in Mr. LaRoche’s case) up front, then have to chose whether or not to accept the QO ($13m+). Given what happened with QO recipients this past season, I would assume Mr. LaRoche would accept the QO and end up getting paid more than if the Nats had simply exercised the full $15m option (if I’ve got that right). For that reason, I would further assume that the Nats would either exercise the one-year extension or simply let him go without a QO.

    • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      The option is a mutual option so LaRoche could not pick up his end, but the Nationals could still probably keep him via the QO. I think.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        That’s the scenario I was imagining – the team using the QO as leverage in a mutual option situation.

        It ends up costing the team more than what was originally in the contract, but if the team wants the player badly enough, they might be willing to pay it.

        To be clear – I do not think that will be the situation with ALR.

        In reading a piece at fangraphs, I was reminded that Soriano’s situation with the Yankees presented another variation of this – in his case, it was an opt out for the player, not a mutual option. He exercised the opt out, got the $1.5M buyout, and the Yanks made him a QO, which together with the buy out would have paid him more than was originally in the contract.

        But as we know, he turned that down too.

  22. Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    All this talk of 2015! I just want to see them win tonight..

    BTW? RZ is not, not ever will be, an everyday LF, in my opinion.

  23. 6ID20 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Apparently Bryce Harper didn’t want this game to start til 6:30.

  24. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Leggo Nats! Sweep em!

  25. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    9 pitch inning. Killer start.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Well, with Ian Desmond at short who needs a left fielder?

  27. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Nice play Ian.

    Now step on the gas.

  28. unkyd59 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Hmmmmm…. Not watching… Three fly outs, there. Is Fister up in the zone, here early?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Didn’t seem so

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      First two hits were thigh high.

  29. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Hey, nice DP. Wow.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      The pitcher almost screwed the double play by kicking ball.

      Third consecutive hard hit up the middle.

  30. janebeard - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Why is our bull pen sitting on bar stools?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      They want to.

    • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      Drew Storen designed a bench for them to see over thhe fence.

      • janebeard - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Thank you David for the Drew engineering a bench update!

    • NatsLady - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Storen designed it so the relievers don’t have to watch the game from behind the screen.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      You got something against bar stools?

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Jane, that’s their new platform which was designed by Drew Storen…now they can watch the game without looking through the chain link fence.

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        It’s happy hour in CA!

  31. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Some bad luck that inning with the fantastic double play. 3 good swings.

  32. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    No results that inning, but the hitters hit the ball well.

  33. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    I think 4 good swings, which one not good to you?

  34. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Fister is up all thigh to belt high

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      They have not swung at any of his low pitches. You cannot hang sliders. We don’t hit enough of them, but other teams do.

  35. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Cement mixer. Blah.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Right you need keep the ball down.

  36. unkyd59 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Um… watching now… Where are the grounders….. Oh!! There’s one now!! Settle down, Dougie….

    • unkyd59 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      That’s more like it…. Now, get them all back… Right now!!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      He had some low balls before and swung at none.

  37. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    3 runs should be easy to come back from vs the Rox. Fister just needs to get it together and shut them down from here out. We got this.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Agreed

  38. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    If we hit like we did in the first we will be OK.

  39. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    What you commenting when we are behind. Seems to be favorite time comment.

    In the wins You comment much less then when we are behind? Or is that my imagination?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      It would cheer as well as complain, that is what most of us do.

  40. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Your point?

    According to MLB it was a quality start.

  41. Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    Your gutters are clogged,swm. You better go clean them before the storm.

  42. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Damn…Two tough DPs. Tough luck.

  43. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Talk about bad luck. We are hitting hard but bad luck

  44. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    I hate Joe West

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      The New York ump blinder then Joe West

  45. Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    NY blew the replay.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      The umps NY are not accountable to anyone so they don’t care.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Agree. He was definitely safe

  46. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    We have hit the ball hard 6 times.

  47. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Harper and Desi both crushed those. Looks like it’s going to be one of those nights

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      6 hard hits, keep doing that and things works out

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        As in Monday just wait for the luck to turn. They are hitting Matzek hard.

  48. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Then why have any camera but exmo working the game

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Fister is throwing stinkers. Time to get sinkers going.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      Seems like he’s coming around.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        It is getting better, but I hate when it takes that long.

  50. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    I guess the Rockies defense came to play tonight.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Fister just K’d on ball 4. Need baserunners.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        Not sure where he thought the pitch was, as it was no where near enough to think about.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        He was in swing mode guessing on a fat fastball and he got a ball in the dirt.

  51. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    That was our first poor hitting inning

  52. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    listening to Charlie and dave, they both mentioned that Fister’s breaking ball is not breaking and he is high with his pitches, well before his gopher ball. my question is, why does Cat not see this first?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      We all saw it was near belt,.

  53. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    oh well we won the series

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      Wtf? Isn’t there 6 inning of bats left vs the worst pitching staff in baseball? Sheesh.

      • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        i know, i’m just saying

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        Saying what? We’re going to lose? A little premature.

  54. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Sweet play by RZim!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      Throw was high, but on target.

      His glove has never been a problem.

  55. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    There’s no issue with Ryans glove.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      There’s never been an issue with Ryan’s glove. It’s been his positioning and range and arm. As he showed in LF, he can go get ‘em!

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Positioning and range, maybe not as good as a few years back, but really that’s not an issue either, imo. It’s all arm.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Yes, it starts with the arm which will fix the other 2.

  56. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Good pick, high throw , and not slow catcher. How come our catchers are so slow?

  57. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Big inning coming up.

  58. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Told you.

  59. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    HOLY SHIZZLE MY FIZZLE, Jayson Werth!!!!

  60. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    “Ghost of Steve M. – Jul 2, 2014 at 7:16 PM
    As in Monday just wait for the luck to turn. They are hitting Matzek hard.”

    There you go!

  61. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Big inning coming up

    LOL

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      I had you beat by 20 minutes ;)

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        I know. I couldn’t resist.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        That was good though! Where’s Mrsb? She must be at the game.

  62. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I have to tell you I like what I see in Bryce’s swings. He might not be getting hits but he is on these balls.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      Now if this Bryce Bias would even out. He deserves a fair strike zone on these called strikes. I’m glad FP commented on that ridiculous K last night.

  63. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Comeback has started.

    Wish the guys would only swing at strikes

  64. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Desi

  65. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Ian Desmond with another 2 out hit with a runner on 3rd. Thats crazy.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      That’s lucky BABIP there. Evening out. Time to steal Ian!

  66. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Let’s start this over.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      Fister just needs to keep the ball down now.

  67. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Loboton please make me eat my words

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Sorry you are still not hitting enough for my taste, so I cannot eat my words yet.

  68. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Is that Tom Laveo with white beard and Nats shirt in the third row?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Thom Loverro? Is he about 340 pounds?

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        That is why I am asking.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        I see the guy you are referring to. That’s not Thom although they seem to be close to the same girth. I also wouldn’t expect Thom to fork out the funds for Prez seats when he can attend for free and sit in the Press Box.

  69. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    In the battle of back up catchers we are being slaughtered

  70. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    This year Desi is batting .563/.619/.938/1.557 with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs in 2014.

    In his career with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd, Desi is batting .292 in 137 at-bats. That is truly incredible considering the Nats as a team are .156 BA in that situation.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Cool stats.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        He’s always been incredible in his career when a runner is on 3rd. Only 16 opps this year so small sample size but I believe he led the Majors in that 1 stat.

        Desi leads the Majors in batting with bases loaded batting a cool 1.000 No way to do better than that ;)

  71. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Time to settle down big Fist!

  72. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Chris Young (former Nat) won again and is 8-4 with a 3.11 ERA. Went 7 full giving up 2 earned and striking out 8.

  73. lplipty - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    I’m guessing Fister is done

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Huh? 5th inning?

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      I see he is getting hit around but he had thrown only 55 pitches.

  74. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Only 60 pitches for Fister…..hmmmmm

  75. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Tulo with unlucky BABIP. Good for Nats, bad for Rockies!!!

  76. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Fister has settled down

  77. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Fister’s getting stronger.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      I think he has a rhythm going and allowing his movement to take over. I think he will tell you that the extra rest with the dayoff amp’d him up and he was over-throwing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        I hit enter before finishing that. “he was over-throwing early in the game and everything was up”.

  78. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Hitters took 2 innings off. Next inning pick up the pace.

  79. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Zim Zim!!!

  80. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    RZim has hyena glove

  81. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Yah, RZim’s glove! WEB GEM for sure on that one.

  82. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Time to win this game. Let Fister hit, though. He’s on cruise control now.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Maybe not…well see how this goes.

  83. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Ryan’s throws haven’t been pretty (almost got ALR killed on that one) but as long as they get there, who gives a damn

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Correct. So far these three games he has not thrown great, but hasn’t airmailed any that passes my teat.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      I feel like he has made all the plays he is supposed to make, exactly what we need.

  84. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Let’s get some runs boys

  85. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Dez is an animal. Heating up!!!!!

  86. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Trivia for you. Walt Weiss who is the Manager of the Rockies has a much younger cousin named Brent Weiss who played baseball for George Mason University in the mid-2000′s.

  87. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Joe West hoses us again

  88. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Should be a HR

  89. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    If it hits only green it doesn’t bounce like that

  90. conatsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Good job joe… MW had no challanges left

  91. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    They get one right!!!! HR for Desi. I wish they were that smart on Desi’s inside the park HR that was re-ruled as a double.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Watching the rebound you can tell it hit the rail. Not sure what joe west saw. He is just poor.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        You know how you would know for sure, inspect the baseball.

        All the fans there knew it was a HR. Glad they got that one right.

  92. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    The umps in New York use the physics involved it was obvious

  93. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Desi is beast

  94. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Loboton still on my boo list.

    • David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

      Swings at Ball 3 on a 2-0 count. Don’t get it.

      • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        he is a 200 hitter period, but I guess it is smart to rest Ramos when you can, I have no problem with it, not MW will probably have to figure out some type of rotation with Harp, Werth, Span and McClouth and for that fact, Zim in that mix

  95. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    “Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN ·
    Did they really need 3 minutes, 42 seconds to see that the ball bounced off the wall, then off railing behind it?”

    Dramatic effect Mark!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Joe loves his airtime.

      • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        Ghost, like I said last night, West always thinks it is about him

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        You are correct.

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        Reminds me of a college basketball ref, Teddy Valentine. Teddy loves his air time so much his nickname is TV Teddy.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        Knox, love the name!

  96. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Tracking 107 RBI – I don’t care what your avg is, I’ll take it!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      Thank you. I’ve been making that point forever. The guy is an RBI hunter.

      • scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Opp of Bryce who is weak on RBI and hits with rob

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        Bryce is improving but yes, that has to get better.

  97. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Zim taken out for defense. Will regret that if they tie, but hopefully it’s a non-factor.

  98. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Danny grew that beard during this game.

  99. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Love that Clip is throwing that riser fastball in 0-2 and 1-2 counts.

  100. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    That play that Bryce just made was not being made by Nats leftfielders prior to RZim. Nice play.

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Please. That wasnt that good. Zim wouldn’t even have dove.

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Meaning, he would have caught that on the run.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        That wasn’t a great dive and he doesn’t get style points for it but he made the play. That play ends up falling in against lesser leftfielders.

  101. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Tyler needs to throw the splitter here to Tulo on 0-2.

  102. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Take a seat son!

  103. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I agree with Bob and FP that once Tulo came up to bat, that was the Save!

  104. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    If they hold on here, this may be my fav win. Love comebacks and gutsy play.

    • scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Tons of gems and semi gems

    • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      especially since we are not getting any help from the Mets….they just suck, lol

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        The Barves got the Mets 3-4-5 pitchers and missed Niese and Colon. They have been lucky in many matchups this year plus they didn’t get David Wright.

  105. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Fister really settled down after the 2nd, that is something he can teach Stras and others

  106. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    If it’s a one run 9th with sori I’m getting mr Woodford reserve out.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      Doesn’t have to face Morneau or Tulo or Blackmon. Clip had the Save, now Soriano has to close it out!!!

  107. scmargenau - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Good pitching. Tip your cap

  108. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. …

  109. David Proctor - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Soriano hasn’t worked in a while so I hope he’s sharp. He’s better the more he pitches

  110. Joe Seamhead - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Soriano does have to face the 3 guys that got the hits earlier, including the guy that hit the homer..

  111. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I actually trust Soriano now. Go figure.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      I don’t trust any closer, but that’s just me. They hold the game in the balance.

  112. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Mark with a great stat that 10 of Desi’s 15 HRs this year have either tied the game or put the Nats ahead. That is 67% of all of his HRs. That ladies and gentleman is spectacular.

    Say what you want about Desi but inside and out that is the 1st guy I want on my team then give me Rendon then Fister, JZim, Stras and then Werth, Harper

  113. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Was that severe jammage, severed jammage or serious jammage by Soriano?

  114. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Ponche Soriano!

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Un
      Tuck.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        Great game, great save. Both sides doing their jobs well means a close game. Well played all around.

  115. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Siriano’s stuff good, a blooper

  116. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    soriano, seriously?

  117. conatsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Fasten your seat belts !

  118. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I had to open my big mouth.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      Yep, did you hear FP? Pass the Pepto-Bismol.

      • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        Sure did.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Pepto-Bismol® oh my! That was close!

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        Didn’t take mine tonight

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        I’d rather have that Woodford Reserve scmargenau was talking about.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        I’m drinking some red concoction with tequilla and strawberries and ice.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:32 PM

        That’s how I eat my fruit. Crushed in my drinks LOL

  119. manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    How many 2 out strike pitches did he have

  120. conatsguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Typical Soriano Save.. Where’s my meds!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      A typical one ends up with a win

  121. veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Some stressful shlt. Nice win.

  122. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    That pop-up made me nervous with all the noise in the stadium with JDub coming in! Winner! How many wins before Matty does his Babe Ruth impersonation?

    • veejh - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      5!!!

  123. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    i was doing my Fred G Sanford

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      Me too. After that bloop single my blood pressure was going.

      • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        I was screaming like old Fred, “hear that Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you, with an untucked shirt”

        lol

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        How fun was that. I was just glad that game didn’t go into extras.

        The Nats should be rested for that morning game on Friday.

        A well-deserved day off!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      The Devil made you do that.

  124. senators69 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Awesome – sweep!

    NOW IF WE CAN ONLY GET RID OF THAT CRAPPY JASON ALDEAN COMMERCIAL ON NATS RADIO, I’LL BE HAPPY!

    • micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      great poster name! one of my fav teams ever, 69 Nats!!

      • senators69 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:29 PM

        ’69 — That was year! The year the Senators won! The most special DC baseball year until 2012!

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Eddie Brinkman, shortstop and short fielder (for Frank Howard). Definitely one of my favorite teams.

    • Another Tyler - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      +1 on that stupid commercial!

      And yeehaw on the win!

  125. micksback1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    why couldn’t the Mets get at least 1 win

  126. senators69 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Gotta stay with the Braves, who, I think, have an easy near-term schedule.
    Interesting that ESPN shows the Nats having a greater playoff probability than the Braves.
    Hey, if you can book it now, I’ll take it ESPN! Sold!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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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