Skip to content

Game 86: Cubs at Nats

Jul 5, 2014, 11:56 AM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

After a tough, win streak-ending loss to the Cubs on the 4th of July, the Nationals got a bit of a break for the second game of this series. Late Friday night the Cubs traded their No. 1 starter, Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland Athletics, right before he was set to start against the Nats. Samardzija’s last outing was actually against the Nationals where he went five scoreless innings in a Cubs win on June 28.

In Samardzija’s place will be right-hander Carlos Villanueva (4-5, 5.91), a 30 year old veteran of nine MLB seasons. Villanueva has had a decent amount of success against the Nats in his career with a 2.30 ERA in 13 appearances, 12 of them in relief.

Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 3.93) will start for Washington, who will look to get back in the win column as the Braves continue to reel off victories. With their 5-2 win over the D-Backs on Friday, Atlanta has now won eight straight.

Gio’s last start was also against the Cubs. He went seven scoreless innings to earn his fifth win of the season.

Both Mark and I are off today with Ben Standig covering for us from Nationals Park. Make sure to head there before and after today’s game for his stuff…

CHICAGO CUBS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 81 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (46-39)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
LHP Gio Gonzalez

CUBS (38-46)
CF Junior Lake
RF Justin Ruggiano
1B Anthony Rizzo
SS Starlin Castro
C Wellington Castillo
3B Mike Olt
LF Chris Coghlan
2B Darwin Barney
RHP Carlos Villanueva

UMPIRES
HP Ted Barrett (cc)
1B Will Little
2B Mike Everitt
3B Paul Schrieber

155 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. rayvil01 - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Off-topic, but I would think Roark’s next start is huge. If he scuffles it might spring Rizzo into action for a fifth starter at the trade deadline.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Maybe, but Treinen has looked pretty good thus far. I’d be surprised to see Rizzo trade for a starter.

      • Steady Eddie - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Yes. Or Taylor Hill.

    • veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Maybe a bit premature on a move like that. He has been excellent, and a couple of shaky starts does not warrant a move like that, imo.

      • fielderschoice101 - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        yep

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Yes, premature. Even in a bad start he gives up 4 runs but still goes 7 innings.

      There’s really no question that he’s good enough for a no. 5 starter, and he now needs to get accustomed to the repetition and, yes, the grind (gulp! bang!) of a full MLB season.

    • Doc - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Roark was making his 2nd start in a week against the same team. The Cubs were hitting his 1st pitch FB.; when he adjusted to it, he was being more successful.

      That 4th run was probably unearned, based on a passed ball by Ramos—the scorer saw it differently. Could have been a quality game by the 3 run—-6 inning standard. He also pitched 7 innings—Strasburgh should be so lucky.

      With a close to team leading starter ERA of 3.12, I rather doubt that Rizzo would be so inclined as you suggest.

      Real baseball people aren’t so knee jerk reactive to such performances.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I’m concerned also like I was about Gio but in the playoffs it’s a 4 starter rotation. Roark is now pitching like a #5. Hope to see the Roark we saw most of the season.

  2. ArVAFan - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    For a minute there, I thought I was losing my mind. I could have sworn that we won both June 28 games, since I was there at the time. I went back and checked the official scores, and my memory was correct. For the WIN over Samardzija (the second game of the double-header), we were sitting at the on-deck circle. So I was hoping we’d beat him again. Oh, well, we’ll see what they can do against the Cubs–as currently constituted. As someone else mentioned, I wonder if the trade affects their morale, or if they are just relieved that the rumored shoe finally dropped.

    • veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      I don’t think anyone on the team thought that they were serious contenders, anyways.

    • NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      We did win against Samardzija, I was there!!! However, he can’t be counted on to have two bad games in a row, so best he moves along to California.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        I like this order much better.

        GYFNG!!!

    • janebeard - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      We were there, too, in the Friendly Confines!

  3. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    The Cubs are free swingers. You don’t have to throw them strikes. Roark and Fister throw nothing but strikes and that might be part of why they got hurt (though of course they weren’t exactly quality strikes). Gio owns the Cubs because he doesn’t throw strikes and they chase.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      I can’t tell if you are serious or not. LOL!

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Throwing to many strikes hurts against free swinging teams, that is why the Braves have succeeded.

  4. veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Rendon back in the #2 spot. MW got it right.

    • Zona - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      At least till Harper starts whining again.

      • 6ID20 - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Jayson Werth. Nothing but winning.

        Bryce Harper. Nothing but whining.

    • mauimo22 - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      agreed! let bryce earn his way higher!

      • senators69 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        6ID20 — Nice slogan! fist bump

        I’d change the batting order a bit — flip Span and Rendon, then flip Ramos and Desmond.
        I prefer Rendon as leadoff, and I think Wilson should hit higher.

        OR at some point, could send Span lower in the order.

        GYFNG!!

  5. masterfishkeeper - Jul 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Although Villanueva has been effective against the Nats as a team, and most players on the Nats roster, he’s been pretty bad overall this year and in his career has not had much success as a starter. Let’s hope we get to him early and often.

  6. janebeard - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    I saw news of the trade yesterday and thought, “they couldn’t have pulled the trigger on this 24 hours ago?” Villanueva will be psyched today, but hasn’t been in a starter mindset. I saw Gio takes him and that our guys get some good hitting done. Looking forward to Bryce feeling hitterish sometime soon.

    GYFNG!

  7. Doc - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Obviously, Harps didn’t make up this lineup—he’s batting 6th, and Espi is still on the bench!

    Our biggest RBI guy, and real team player/captain, is batting 7th and not complaining..

    Gooooooooooooooo Desi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GoooooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!

  8. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Interesting that Harper was given exactly one game to “prove” he belongs in the 2-spot. He had a poor game, zippo, back “down.” IF he hits, that makes him like the pivot hitter for the second half of the lineup. It’s a great spot for run creation–he gets RBI from driving in guys ahead of him AND he generates runs when he gets on base for Desi or Ramos to drive him in. How can you not like the 6-spot in our lineup if you look at the chance to create runs?

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Yeah, I don’t quite get what MW is thinking by yo-yoing Harper in the order.

      If he moved Harp up to placate him (which I don’t really believe, or at least, don’t want to) then giving him one game in the #2 hole seems likely to only piss him off more. If it was to put more lefties at the top of the order vs a RHP, then that’s still true today.

      I like your points about the #6 spot, tho if Harp really cares that much, they probably would not satisfy him.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Which reminds me of why Denard Span is a great lead-off hitter. Yes, he doesn’t have the best OPB because he doesn’t take a lot of walks. But what he does have is a lot of extra base hits. You REALLY like it when your lead-off hitter is on 2nd or 2rd base with no one out. If your leadoff hitter only gets to first base, you need something else besides “station-to-station” to drive him in, because two outs isn’t enough (that’s the beauty of baseball, a single is not enough to generate a run). You get a run with two “productive outs,” or a ground out and a sac-fly, etc.

    • Doc - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      So far, Span and Harper have the same number of HRs—–1.

      Den is on pace for about 50 2Bs, 24-25 SBs, 10 3Bs. I haven’t checked on RS’d but I’m assuming it’s competitive. None of those stats will be approached by Harper this year.

      And he’s the smoothest CF that I’ve had a chance to watch consistently.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        I don’t get the point of comparing the counting stats of a guy who missed two of the first three months to a guy who’s played almost every game.

        Unless the point is just to bash Harp.

      • NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        HH, WAR is basically a “counting” stat, in the sense that being on the field–productively–for more time is better than being on the field for less time but with more offensive production. So in the overall picture, it is “fair” (if you want to consider value to the team) to consider the question of which one will end the season with more value to the team.

        At the present moment, Harper is tied for last in WAR on our team with Greg Dobbs. He has a ways to go to catch up with Span.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=&ind=0&team=24&players=0

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        NL

        Ok, except it’s not the end of the season, so let’s wait and see.

        I hope they both end with very high WARs, and if Span’s is higher because he played 2 months longer, that’s a great thing for the team. No complaints here.

  10. Doc - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Some real eye popping stats by sophomore ARen. He’s on pace to have over 100 RS’d and 100 RBIs.

    He’s the player that I look forward to most, when he’s in the batter’s box.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      +1

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

        +2

      • Another Tyler - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        +3. And I thank the baseball gods that he is a low-key team player.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Better than advertised.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Totally agree with that one.

      Rendon is the one player who, if I miss a PA, I will rewind to watch.

    • senators69 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      + 4 Love Anthony!

      • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        +5 – no drama either

  11. 3on2out - Jul 5, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Spellcheck’s loss was precipitated by the rain delay. (Precipitated? I like that!) Anyway I’m glad I won’t see him today.

  12. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Can we please stop acting like batting Harper second against righties is a bad thing?

    Harper career against RHP: .285/.366/.507, 137 wRC+.
    Rendon: .256/.318/.409, 101 wRC+.

    Harper’s OPS against RHP is almost 150 points higher than Rendon’s. Even overall, Harper’s OPS, wRC+, and basically anything you look at is better. I love Anthony and I think he’s going to be a superstar. Why do some feel the need to disparage Harper in order to prop Rendon up? Both are phenomenal talents.

    • veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I’m more in the what have you done for me lately group. What has Harper done since he’s been back? Jack. He doesn’t deserve that spot until he has proven he is back on track. Maybe he did whine about batting low in the order, it’s not out of the question.

    • realdealnats - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      DP–I love Harper too but he’s presumptuous. Especially for a 21 year old. Even if he is super gifted and probably the real face of the franchise. A number of fans did not like how he threw Span under the bus. And speaking for myself my feeling toward Harp is I’m a fan, I’m behind you, but shut up already–especially about a guy who is currently outplaying you–for whatever reason. Work on not being so hungry at the plate trying to kill all the slow stuff, and leave the lineup to MW. Don’t be bigger than the team. Take a page out of Zim’s and Desi’s book. And if some might argue that Werth lobbies a little more diplomatically for things in somewhat the same fashion–well he’s paid a lot more dues.

      • mauimo22 - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        well put! thanks for a great comment.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        When I was 21 I ran my mouth too as did most of my friends, so I do not hold that against him like most here o. I guess most here were nearly perfect and tactful at their professions at 21.

      • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        +1

    • 6ID20 - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      They’re not playing career vs career. They’re playing now vs now. Rendon is so far ahead that it’s not even worth arguing about.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      DP

      Agree that both are great talents, and agree about the Harper bashing.

      I don’t have any problem with leaving Harper lower in the order if MW really thinks he needs to re-acclimate, as he said when Bryce came back. But I really don’t get this up in the order one day, down the next routine–don’t see where it benefits anyone.

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Throw harps stats out. One rookie year, new shiny toy thing. Next 2 years hurt and average as pitchers adjusted. Everyone knows AR is a much better choice no matter who’s pitching. He’s a pro hitter.

      • David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Harper was better last year too.

      • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        No. We all watched. In a limited sample he as average. I hope he changes his nattitude and takes a lesson from Rendon n Zim. That said……

        Rg3 seems to have made a huge adjustment. So maybe there is hope.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        Ok, I know this thread is pretty much dead, but this really is so absurd that I have to lodge a protest.

        Harper was well above average as a hitter in 2012, and even better in 2013. As a 19 and 20 yo, respectively.

        He may well be overhyped (and I do not personally love the hype/drama, some of which is his own fault, much of which is not). But he is still an incredible talent.

  13. unkyd59 - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    ” Samardzija’s last outing was actually against the Nationals where he went five scoreless innings in a Cubs win on June 28.”

    Yeah I watched tat game, too… I like Chases’ writing, but I hope he starts checking his work… Seems )no research) like at least half of his posts have a gaff like this… Work on getting things down accurately, and you’ll make a very good writer…. GoYouFreakingChaseHughesGo!!!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      I thought he pitched the 28th and lost 7-2. Gave up 7 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      You were quoting Chase I see. I never read the stuff at the beginning except the lineups.

    • 6ID20 - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Chase is clearly bucking for Kilgore’s job at the Post.

  14. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Won’t see this one in real-time as I’ll be at the P-Nats game. See. You. Later!

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Have fun you!

  15. veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    A must win game against a scrub. Losing these matchups does not bode well.

  16. veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Hmmmmm…so Gio isn’t going to nibble today….

    solid 1st, no doubt

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      If he pitched without nibbling he would be on my good list.

  17. realdealnats - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Manassasnatsfan–mispeaking, running your mouth at 21, running your mouth at any age, and throwing a team mate under the bus are all different things. Are you saying you threw a hard working work mate under the bus at 21? Come on. Nobody’s perfect so you won’t have anyone argue with you on that one. It’s the idea that what he said threw Span under the bus, when there is plenty of other business to tend to. The last thing this team needs is dissension to further distract a team that has only recently placed its starting lineup on the field this year and has ground to make up. And I wouldn’t call what Harp did “running his mouth.” And to be honest, I never liked much of anyone who regularly ran their mouth, no matter how old they were But that’s not my point re Harp.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Bottom line he ran his mouth, but more people have dragged on the talk, then he did. If people would comment and let it die it would be over.

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    I see Gio started nibbling to batter 8. Get back out of that habit.

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Gio is back to nibbling and 20 pitches an inning. Without that caught stealing, who knows.

  20. Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Hmmm……

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      I have no problem bunting but with third baseman back, it is an easy hit.

      The bunt did set up a run.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Ok, so at least Bryce’s bunt wasn’t wasted–move Zim over and Desi brings him in.

  21. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    That is terrible direction to bunt. The third baseman was no where near the plate.

  22. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Anyone else have Comcast and have problems with volume cutting out? To get the volume back, I have flick to another station then back. Seems to happen only in HD. EVENTUALLY I give in go to non HD.

    • RickH - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      I’m not having any problems with Comcast HD sound. And I’m pretty close to you (Bristow).

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        I have had it off and on all season, only 2 channels MASN, MASN2.

        Not sure the problem.

  23. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Last week at Potomac Harper was not off balance like this.

    Quit swinging at sliders unless hung please

  24. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I thought was a goner

  25. RickH - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Nice to see RGIII at the park!

  26. Danny - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    Looks like Harper should be out of his own lineup.

  27. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    I noticed Chase has the umpires at the wrong place. I know the rookie is calling balls and strikes and Ted Barrett is at third.

  28. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    When Zim came back, he had one good game then struggled badly. When Ramos came back from the broken hand, he struggled badly (then got hurt again as he started heating up). When you miss that much time, it’s going to take some time to get your timing back.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Gio looks to be pretty much back to his normal self.I hope that it lasts.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      20 consecutive scoreless innings for Gio?

  30. scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Lod silent. 1/2 pizza for kids tomorrow!!! Gyfng !!

    Still bitter at Harper. He just agitates me…maybe I’m too harsh.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      I was very irritated with him for a day, or so. When he starts hitting all will be forgiven.He’s really not a bad kid.

      • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        I’m not sure. Who says the things he says. Who even dares question your manager? He’s not trout or Stanton. Shut it and prove it. Then I may change my mind.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      I guess as a teacher, I can tolerate habits that irritate others.

  31. scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Better swing there by Bryce

  32. scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Btw happy 4th weekend to all you insiders! It’s important to note that despite the disagreements we are all fans and share that bond. I totally enjoy all of you and your (warped? :-) opinions. So thank you all! I hope to see all of u at a game.

    3 years ago it seems there were Moore meet ups at dc area sports bars…what happened to that?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 6, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      “3 years ago it seems there were Moore meet ups at dc area sports bars…what happened to that?”

      My guess, based what I remember of the gatherings I attended: it’s a consequence of the game thread exodus. People have found other things to do, other people to do them with. Many of the folks I remember seeing there now avoid game threads, or don’t post here at all anymore. You can’t move this party to another venue if there is no party.

      Of the folks remaining who do post, many are not in DC area. That was always true, but the percentage seems to have changed.

      Just speculating.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 6, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      “3 years ago it seems there were Moore meet ups at dc area sports bars…what happened to that?”

      My guess, based what I remember of the gatherings I attended: it’s a consequence of the game thread exodus. People have found other things to do, other people to do them with. Many of the folks I remember seeing there now avoid game threads, or don’t post here at all anymore. You can’t move this party to another venue if there is no party.

      Of the folks remaining who do post, many are not in the DC area. That was always true, but the percentage seems to have changed.

      Just speculating.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 6, 2014 at 12:26 AM

        Hmmm. Doubled. Weird.

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    “@Nationals: That makes 20 consecutive scoreless innings for @GioGonzalez47, the longest scoreless innings streak for any #Nats pitcher this season.”

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Nasty curve!!!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      Good job. How about Kershaw 36 hours

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Gio has looked terrific! Make it 21 innings.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:36 PM

        Yes, he struggled in the 2nd inning and other than that has rolled and his last start was very good. He’s piecing together a nice streak.

  34. micksback1 - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Nats playing the way thought they would today. Bryce needs to get it going before O’s series, plain and simple

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      A hit to left off a lefty is good.

  35. unkyd59 - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Milone optioned to minors…

    • NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      They’ll just rest him down there. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do that every 10 days with one of their starters rather than putting them in the bullpen.

  36. manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Can Ian make it 7 for 7

  37. scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Werth is seeing beach balls.

  38. scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Wow just saw that brave run diff is only 8. Nats 45 before today, it shouldn’t be close in records .

    • NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      The DBacks are helping them with their run differential. It’s 10-4 now.

  39. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Rendon is just showing off now

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      He needs to be an all star.

      Btw in all fairness I was a huge tymo fan and I had to give up on him- for now at least. So I get your support for Bryce. Draft diff aside.

  40. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Do we have enough bench players for this spring training game?

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      Put me in coach!

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      At what point, you stop taking walks?

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Apparently now as a fast ball middle up outer middle of the plate, Ian took for strike 3

  41. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    I like the substitutions but why not Espinosa at SS?

    Rendon should have solidified his All Star pick today. His stats are really impressive. He is an impressive young man.

  42. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    With RGIII in attendance, he must like the TD + 2 FG effort by the Nats.

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      Or was it two td’s and a missed extra point?

  43. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    That’s how you pitch Ryan Sweeney! Take notes Barrett.

  44. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Nice shutout team win!

  45. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Tough call for me if the Nats only get one rep for the All Star game. Adam LaRoche has a pretty good, long career, and this might be his last shot. He also has very good numbers and has been a rock overall at first. They both have had worthy first halts.

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Gio dropped his ERA from 3.93 to 3.52.

    Gio has now pushed Strasburg to the worst of the starters in ERA.

    Fister 2.93
    JZim 2.95
    Roark 3.12
    Gio 3.52
    Stras 3.53

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      WOW! 3.53 is still below league average but I know he can lower it.

  47. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    What a great interview with Ryan in the post-game. He’s like a new guy. “SUPER UTILITY”

  48. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    A heart warming story: So, my daughter went through all kinds of hassle to get my 8 & 9 year old grandsons to the P-Nats game for Rendon bobbleheads, their hero. They got there an hour before the gates opened, but sadly there were no bobbleheads left. The boys were pretty disappointed. My daughter offered to buy some, but no takers. Then a random couple came up and just gave theirs to the boys! They said that they got shut out for Werth bobbleheads and strangers gave theirs to their kids, so they were paying forward a random act of kindness! Is this a great country, or what?

    • nats128 - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      That is a heart warming story!

    • fielderschoice101 - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      A nice story to hear!

    • Another Tyler - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      +3 and Rendon is a perfect hero for kids.

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Anyone missing Dan Haren now? He gave up 8 runs to the Rockies over 5 1/3 innings. ERA balloons to 4.06 Before you think he faced the Rockies “A” lineup, no Tulo and Blackmon came in as a PH.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      that was in Colorado though.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        I realize that. Look at the lineup. That’s awful. Arenado back from the DL got no hits. It was Morneau and a bunch of bench guys.

    • David Proctor - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      He’s been slowly declining since that hot start. Rumor has it his back is bothering him again

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:31 PM

        Worse than that is the Dodgers are looking to replace him. They are set with Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu and Beckett.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 5, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      Um, when were we missing Haren? Class guy who’s had a great career, but his last 2.5 years have been pretty poor. I’d rather have Edwin Jackson (not that I want the Nats to get him).

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        masterfishkeeper, when Haren started hot there were a few posters who immediately pointed to Haren’s success. April numbers can be deceiving.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      Dodgers should get Price and Zobrist.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Why not? I wanna see Kershaw, Greinke, and Price in one rotation. Beats all others I would think.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      LOL! I wanna see what video game numbers that rotation can put up but in all seriousness, I hope dodgers don’t trade for price.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        Yah, thought so. I’m hoping Price goes to Seattle. Far away from the NL.

    • rayvil01 - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      Haren is a good guy. I thought he was worth a year. But he wasn’t.

      On the other hand, my nephew in town for the Fourth is a big Tigers fan. “Nats stole Fister.” I agreed with him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        Yes, the Nats did but tell him the Tigers stole him from Seattle. Rizzo pulled off something that Robin Hood would be proud of.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Seattle shouldn’t trade for price I feel. First, because they need more offense than pitching (Stanton makes more sense) and second, the package for price will involve walker I believe. Not sure that’s the best idea.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        Seattle got a freebie in Chris Young and with him and Iwakuma and King Felix they could solidify a top rotation with Price.

        Toronto is in the division and that might deter Tampa.

        They’re going to trade Price and it will come down to The Price Is Right.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:15 PM

        Can’t imagine anyone letting Stanton go. What a ball player!

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        But the offense is still weak. Exactly two guys with wrc+ of more than 102, seager and cano.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        But the offense is still weak. Exactly two guys with wrc+ of more than 102, seager and cano.

      • Another Tyler - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        As a Seattle-area Nats fan who also follows (somewhat) the Mariners, I doubt they will trade Walker. They are out of money and Walker’s supposed to be their next big ace. On the other hand, he’s been a bit prone to injury and his last (first since dl) start wasn’t exactly clean. Price is proven. Overall my gut agrees with Faraz (they will look for offense), though Ghost could be right if the Price comes down.

  50. veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    That change up really has revived Gio’s game.

    • dgourds - Jul 6, 2014 at 3:43 AM

      I go out and watch the pregame bullpen before each game I attend. Gio worked more on his change than any pitcher I have seen. He was even throwing it in long toss! He was gesturing to McCatty a lot about his wrist angle holding a circle grip. Pretty interesting stuff. I learn a lot by watching those sessions.

  51. veejh - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    I hope that wasn’t Harper shaking his head at LaRoche, after finally getting a hit in the 6th inning for the 1st time, for not being sent home/not being fast enough to get home. Anyone else see that?

    • scmargenau - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      I did. It seemed like all he cared about was a stat. I hope it wasn’t. Notice how people talk about Rendon being a role model and never Bryce? There is a reason for that.

    • David Proctor - Jul 6, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      We are reaching new lows on this forum if you are analyzing his body language that deeply. I mean really. I’m begging you to give it a rest. One, in shaking his head, he didn’t seem the least bit upset, he was grinning. If he meant it in the way you’re saying, it seems likely in more of a joking manner. Like “c’mon Wheels LaRoche, speed it up.”

      Two, none of us could ever possibly why he shook his head, so what do we get out of assuming one thing or another? If you view Harper as a selfish, overrated brat as some here do, then you’ll see it that way and nobody could prove you wrong. And vice-versa. Nothing is gained from it. I guarantee you though, if you look at every player’s body language as closely as you seem to watch Bryce’s, you’ll see some things that could be viewed as questionable if you wanted to view it in that manner.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 6, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        +1

Archives

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.

Follow us on Twitter