Skip to content

Game 97: Nats at Rockies

Jul 21, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images USA Today Sports Images

Before Bryce Harper returned to his lineup three weeks ago, Matt Williams suggested he planned to mix and match his lineups, with Ryan Zimmerman in particular bouncing around multiple positions. To date, that hadn’t really happened. Zimmerman stayed at third base. Harper stayed in left field. Denard Span stayed in center field. Anthony Rendon stayed at second base.

Tonight, though, Williams is doing some mixing and matching. With left-hander Franklin Morales on the mound for the Rockies, Zimmerman is shifting to left field. That means Rendon shifts to third base, with Danny Espinosa getting the start at second base. And that means Bryce Harper is taking a seat, at least for one night.

Doug Fister certainly will appreciate strong infield defense behind him as the groundball specialist makes his first start of the second half, seeking to match Tanner Roark for the team lead with nine wins.

I’m not on the first two legs of this road trip; I will be in Miami next week for the final leg. In the meantime, enjoy the game and the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at COLORADO ROCKIES
Where: Coors Field
Gametime: 8:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (53-43)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Doug Fister

ROCKIES (40-58)
CF Charlie Blackmon
SS Josh Rutledge
LF Chris Dickerson
RF Carlos Gonzalez
3B Nolan Arenado
1B Ben Paulsen
C Wilin Rosario
2B D.J. LeMahieu
LHP Franklin Morales

UMPIRES
HP Chris Conroy
1B Jerry Meals (cc)
2B Paul Emmel
3B Jordan Baker

195 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    As Kilgore points out, ALR has played 46 straight games and is hitting .140 this month. I don’t understand why you don’t put Zim at 1B and leave Harper in LF.

    • Eric - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Maybe the idea is to match up the defense with the pitcher, rather than to maximize offense? If so, it might make sense to move LaRoche to #8 against the lefty, but then again he wasn’t horrible at the plate yesterday, so maybe Williams wants to let him swing out of it.

    • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      Because, quite simply, Zim looks terrible at first base, and that’s sort of a high-traffic position. He’ll be better off in LF, where chances are few, he’ll get good reads and jumps and Desi will come out 60 feet to get his throws.

      • David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        I just don’t like sitting Harper just as he’s getting hot and twice in 15 games

      • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        I don’t either, but Zim needs to play first base at least as well as Morse did (which wasn’t well, but it was workable). There are two many plays there. Hopefully we will get a good lead and Harper can come in and get a couple of at-bats.

      • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        Grrrr. TOO” many plays. At any rate, we’ll have a good lafty on the bench for the late innings…

      • nats1924 - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        I agree, so far Zim looks unimpressive at 1B

        in 2015 any chance Nats move Werth to 1B, Harp to RF and Zim in LF?

  2. snerdblurter - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    7-0 Nats. Fister takes a perfecto into the 7th and Rendon hits for the cycle.

    GYFNFG

    • snerdblurter - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      Did I say Rendon? I meant Desmond…

  3. Eric - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    So…is Tulo injured after all?

  4. snerdblurter - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    And yeah, head scratcher on ALR not getting the day off here… especially w/ Bryce starting to figure things out at the plate over the weekend

  5. Doc - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    It comes down to either ALR or Harps taking a seat.

    Then you have to wonder about Zim’s arm in LF (or 3B) and Danny’s bat at 2B. Or Harper’s bat in LF vs. Danny’s bat in the lineup.

    Bring on the statisticians!!!!

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Well, Span could take a seat. I understand that Harper made that difficult, with his silly comments, but it wouldn’t hurt once in a while.

      • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Well, if you are talking hot streaks, Span’s on one right now, so this doesn’t seem like the moment to sit him.

      • Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        He could. But with that gigantic outfield in COL, I’d just as soon he play.

  6. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Morneau went to the DL, so he won’t be there for the entire series. This “Ben Paulsen” will be making his debut.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      Ben Paulsen appears to be a lefthanded Tyler Moore. Hope he doesn’t run into one.

  7. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    Here’s the thing. Last time I checked, Harper can’t play first base, and neither can Zim (yet). So if you rest ALR you have to put Frandsen at 1B. That was Matty’s choice, either Harper or Zim in LF. He chose Zim. Tomorrow he might make a different choice, though hard to predict with TBD scheduled to start for the Rockies.

    • David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Zim isn’t as bad over there as you’re making him seem

      • stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        I’m also not sure what glaring deficiencies others saw that I missed.

      • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        If you say so. I see what I see… He hasn’t had a lot of chances, of course.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Not a lot of chances, but IIRC, there was a play a week ago Sunday where Frandsen bounced a throw from 3B that Zim couldn’t pick. Scorer gave Frandsen the error, but it could as easily have gone to Zim.

        More importantly, it was a throw that ALR probably gets.

        Now, small sample size and all that, but it was Zim’s more recent appearance at 1B and probably didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in putting him behind a groundball pitcher.

      • cayucosbaseballconservancy - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Natslady always hated Morse at first base … yet objective observers and stats clearly indicate that LaRoche’s defense is very much subpar this season? Zim has better wheels and is clearly a lot more athletic than LaEoche his one weakness is that shoulder.

        And Zim’s arm is a risk in left field and if fact that is how the Nat’s won last night’s game in a walk off because the left fielder was weak when it came to this. Zim has a -1.2 runs below average in left.

        It seems like a better idea to have Zim get better at playing first base now rather than later given:

        Harper has a .359/.390/.954 against left-handed pitchers.

        LaRoche in a deep slump playing in 42 games straight and limping around at first base has a
        .243/.337/.621 against lefties.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        Oh come on.

        That slash line you’re giving for Harper vs LHP is in all of 41 PA this season. Over his career, his BA is 40 pts higher vs RHP, and his SLG is 110 pts higher.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:43 PM

        DP, I rarely disagree with you. I do tonight. Zimm can track the ball. Zimm can catch the ball. Zimm really can not throw the ball. His arm is is worse than Lombardozzi or Tyler out there. I hope it works out.

      • David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        What? We’re talking about 1B

      • Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        JoeS, I think DP was referring to Zim at 1B, not LF.

    • Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Zim has played all of 14 innings at 1B. Might be a little early to declare that he’s terrible. Small sample size and all that, indeed. Nonetheless, in Coors Field I’d rather he played there than LF. It will be interesting to see if they Rockies hitters are off to the races on base hits to left. If they get any, of course.

      Oh, almost forgot. Welcome back peric.

  8. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Perhaps this lefty won’t last long.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Would you take Tommy Milone back? He wants to be traded.

    http://mlb.mlblinks.tk/3cY

    • Steady Eddie - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      It’s only a 16 game home-away sample (8 games each), but home/away splits of
      2.74/4.40 ERA
      .226/.263 BAA
      .632/.779 OPS
      1.115/1.319 WHIP (that one isn’t quite so extreme)

      should properly make one very leery of what you might be getting, especially if you already have a solid rotation and more on the way.

      • adcwonk - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        home/away splits for whom? which 16 games are you referring to?

      • adcwonk - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        That was directed at Steady Eddie. Is wordpress already going on the fritz?

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      “Take” him back? Well, if they’re giving him away, sure!

      • sjm308 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Take who back?

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        WordPress on the fritz. it ate a comment from NatsLady, who linked to a post about Tommy Milone wanting to be traded from Oakland. She asked whether the Nats would want to take him back.

        Steady Eddie’s comment about home/away splits was also about Milone, in response to NatsLady.

      • sjm308 - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Thanks Hiram – must be frustrating to post something and have it vanish

      • Steady Eddie - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        Yeah, thanks HH – that was a little bizarre. Not only Nats Lady’s comment disappearing but all the threading on the comments disappearing too.

      • Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        Billy Beane will demand A.J. Cole in return.

  10. natsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    I think RZIM did pretty good in LF. If they gave him 100 games to get used to it, he would be adequate. His only problems are going back towards the wall. There are career left fielders who have far worse arms. The problem with going back would be solved with experience. Is he as good as Harper right now, doubtful. Is he good enough, yes.

    The problem with this lineup is at 2B.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Meh, it’s back to the DVR for me. Can’t watch in real time for these trips to the West. I’ll pick up the live games again when they get to Ohio. Woo. hoo.

    Go, NATS!! (Yawn.)

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    I’m sure Harp will be inserted once Colorado goes to the bullpen.

  13. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Bryce has only faced Morales once, it wasn’t a pretty AB. 3 pitch strikeout swinging at 2 out of the zone and strike 3 was in the dirt.

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=3&sp_type=1&year=2012&month=6&day=9&pitchSel=462985&game=gid_2012_06_09_wasmlb_bosmlb_1/&prevGame=gid_2012_06_09_wasmlb_bosmlb_1/&prevDate=69&batterX=58

  14. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    “I’m not on the first two legs of this road trip; I will be in Miami next week for the final leg.”

    So the Nats get a three-legged road trip.

  15. MicheleS - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    I get the infield defense is a priority for Fister, and I am okay with it. I just want to be able to hang with the Braves until they get to the difficult part of August and we then can make some headway.

    GYFNG!!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      I think the Barves fans are thinking they have to hang with the Nats.

      This weekend is a playoff type of matchup. Their best 3 are all pitching.

  16. veejh - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Look at everyone crying about these problems….which starter worthy player gets benched tonight. LOL

  17. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    “I’m totally fine with it,” Harper said. “Of course, I’m a guy that likes to play. I always try to battle my way into the lineup. But I totally understand it.”

    Safe to say Bryce that Bryce has learned to tell the media the cliche’d answers.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Smart. See you in the 7th or 8th inning Bryce.

  18. sunshinebobby - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Let’s get ready for Arena Ball!!

    GYFNG!!

  19. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Good luck Mr Fister and Good Luck Nats bats!

  20. Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    MARK ZUCKERMAN? Word Press really needs to be fixed. Please.

  21. scnatsfan - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Nice finish to the inning for Doug

  22. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Desi loves the high fastball. Just sayin’

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Buffalo just missed that on the fat part of his bat.

  24. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Well. Um. At least he made contact? I’m trying to be nice.

  25. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    1 pitch 2 outs yay Danny!

  26. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Welcome back, Danny. We barely missed you.

  27. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Espinosa in for defense. smh

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Unh unh unh… No excuse

  29. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT

  30. davecydell - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    More than once this season Espinosa has f-up Werth.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    No harm, but you can’t put that on Werth.

  32. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Paulsen the new callup is whispering suggestion to a veteran pitcher. Funny.

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Love the Span walk!

  34. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    By the way, ESPN had Rendon’s play at 2nd base a Web Gem but MLB Network didn’t have that as a Defensive Play Of The Day.

  35. conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Test..

    Hello Natstown

  36. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Rendon is loving his fielder’s choices lately

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      + 1 , David

    • Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Hoping he isn’t starting another May slump.

  37. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Man, Rendon is seriously hitting into the force call a lot…

  38. scnatsfan - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Come on guys get a clutch hit

  39. coop202 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    sigh… back to making bad pitchers look good. Rendon is in a slump the last week unfortunately…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      I disagree. He was Web Gem’d twice yesterday. He’s making good contact and getting BABIP’d. His luck will change.

      • coop202 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:37 PM

        oh his defense is fantastic. But he’s on a pretty rough stretch batting – ya its somewhat BABIP related but not entirely. just one of those weeks

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:41 PM

        I disagree. Yesterday he should’ve had 2 hits.

      • coop202 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Oh right misread that before hand. Ya I could only follow yesterday’s game on gamecast, so I maybe knocked him more than I should. Still happy to see the this so far.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        He hit a ball that was a sure double off the CF wall that Carlos Gomez jumped up and picked off the wall then he hit a slow tapper up 3rd that Ramirez that he barehanded and threw him out.

        2 hits robbed.

  40. David Proctor - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    This game is frustrating so far, but things can change in a hurry in this park. For both sides.

    • scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      U just needed to wait 5 min :-)

  41. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Nasty sequence there Fister.

  42. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Yes! Way to go Desi! Whoop, whoop!

  43. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Like I said in the 2nd inning, Desi likes those high strikes!!!!

  44. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Aight aight aight!!!!! Keep the line moving!

  45. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    I think that is Danny’s shocked face.

  46. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Oh yeah, Nats are working it now! Keep the line moving!

  47. dcwx61 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Holy Espinosa, Batman

  48. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    “Danny – Jul 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM
    1 pitch 2 outs yay Danny!

    reply report comment
    Ghost of Steve M. – Jul 21, 2014 at 9:17 PM
    He smashed it. That’s unlucky BABIP.”

    I don’t often stand-up for Danny like I did earlier but good contact foreshadowed that he’s seeing Morales well.

  49. dcwx61 - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Word press always messes up when Nats play in a new time zone

  50. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Rendon will be 1st strike hunting

  51. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Get the run from 3rd in at least.

  52. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Wow… Just wow….

  53. conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Why did they try to pick off Fister? He was not going anywhere.

  54. sunshinebobby - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Word Press = the Manny Acta of programs

    • conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      I found the new posts in the middle of the tread.. Weird .

      • scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        In your shoe?

      • conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        Ha! Good catch (or is it cach.)

  55. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Morales does a pitch-around on Werth to get to the lefty LaRoche. Jayson’s stats are soaring!

  56. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Rendon and Lala slumping.

  57. Joe Seamhead - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Not that anybody will miss me, but I can’t deal with the Word Press thing. It’s worse than the LOD. Later.

  58. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Kimbrel melting down. Just walked bases loaded with no outs.

    • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Didn’t melt enough. Going into extras.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        That was tough to watch! Yelick leadoff single.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Are you watching the Top 10!!!!!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        Preston Wilson is on the Marlins broadcasting staff.

  59. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Kimbrel strrikes out 2 in a row. Bases loaded and 2 outs.

  60. natsbro - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    “I told Jayson Werth on the plane…” -FP

    I didn’t know they got to travel on the same plane as the team…that’s awesome

  61. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Wow. Where did comments go?

  62. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Come on Fister…. Bring that ball down…

  63. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    3-1 Miami

  64. coop202 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    joys of playing in colorado. gonna need a few more to feel safe.

  65. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Werth is insane. Awhoooo

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Good lord Fister… Serving BP pitches….

  67. scnatsfan - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    C’mon Fister put these guys away with two strikes

  68. Drew - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Doug’s had no zip since he turned his ankle.

  69. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Ugh ugh ugh

  70. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Aaron Barrett scares me with men on base….

    Good luck Aaron….. Please, don’t allow any runs.

  71. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Fister really only got 1 out in the inning. The other one was the baserunning mistake by CarGo.

  72. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Whew…. Come on Nats bats… No lead is safe in Colorado…. Score some more!

  73. conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Nice job !

  74. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Barves lose in bonecrushing fashion!

  75. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Baron Aarett!!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Nice buried slider and a huge block by the goalie, uh, Ramos.

      • stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

        I’d have liked to have seen him one hitter earlier, but that’s a nitpick.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        Me also. THinking the same. If Barrett was ready, that was a mistake.

  76. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    I’d like to see Harp get a shot at this kid who’s pitching now.

  77. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Have a night Ian

  78. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Zim came into home plate like the Flying Wallendas.

  79. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Not good. Ryan going directly into the tunnel.

  80. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Let Harper hit for the pitcher and put him in left. Take the night off, Ryan.

  81. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    This is one bad Colorado baseball team, in its current state of disarray.

    • conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      12 starting pitchers on DL and horrible bullpen. Can’t score enough to overcome that

  82. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Could they have challenged that Zim at home call?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      Yes. He must have touched the plate. Of course MASN didn’t show it.

      • conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Rockies broadcast showed Ryan touched the plate

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Good to hear. MASN showed one angle and it looked like fingertips on the edge.

    • scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Hope he’s ok

  83. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    See people, Harper in the game in the 7th. It will be interesting if Harp takes over in LF.

    • NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      He might have, if he hadn’t back-talked the ump.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        I’m shocked that he would try to sell that to the ump and it was BS.

  84. coop202 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    I love that it’s BRyce pinch hitting

    • scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      He missed it and made a big deal – ugh

  85. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    That was an ugly K by Bryce.

  86. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Blevins?? This games gonna be close!

  87. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Way to stay with it, Jerry.

  88. Drew - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Speaking of Blevins, old friend Billy Burns has 45 stolen bases for Oakland at AA, but his OPS is just .668.

    • Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Paging Mr. Seamhead, Mr. Joe Seamhead.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        See, this is where OPS fails a bit. Because if you don’t hit doubles or triples, but steal your way to second and third nonetheless, you are effectively jacking your SLG. Burns’s splits are .254/.332/.336/.668. Pretty blah. But if you add the stolen bases (and subtract the five CS) then his splits are .254/.332/.454/.786. Not great, but certainly not terrible, especially if he can play good defense.

        He still needs to show that he can hold the batting average and BB% high enough to justify playing at higher levels though.

  89. stoatva - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    JER-RY!! JER-RY!! JER-RY!!

  90. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Walters going nuts at cuse – why not call him up to PH and dump SH ?

    • therealjohnc - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:25 AM

      Because if they dump Hairston they will do it for Souza, not Walters.

  91. Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    FP is on fire tonight. Very funny.

    Remember how Zim hurt his shoulder the originally? Diving into home plate. It was a great effort, but I sure wish he’d take better care of his body on those plays. Where did the Zimmermitt go? Has it been retired?

  92. micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Rockies as a team look worse than the 2012 Astros, who I thought was really bad. Its god Nats are comfortably ahead, they are beating a team they should. looks like Desi is heating up at the right time along with Zim and Werth. Looks like Rendon is a little cold, but i think he will bounce back. The only long term negative is ALR, he looks old and it s now week 7 of his slump. Again, historically ALR starts a season cld and heats up. This season he started hot and has gone cold the past weeks. I really think Rizzo neds to address this. its not a slump it is a clear trend, he does not even hit the ball well.

    Bryce’s reaction was plain juvenile. I have no problem with his strikeout, I have a problem with his trying to one up the umpire. Bryce is the one who swung at a clear ball outside the strike zone.

  93. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    This is interesting. Blevins for 2 innings? You got 1 clean slate out of him and now you want 2?

    • micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      MW is getting lucky. Now that Blevins went 2 innings, BP can really rest

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        Yah, that worked out well.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

        Blevins lowered his ERA to 4.84

        A lot better than a # that starts with 5 something.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      2 scoreless innings for Blevins. MW rolls the dice and got his number.

  94. micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    typos, I’ll try again:

    Rockies as a team look worse than the 2012 Astros, who I thought were really bad. Its good Nats are comfortably ahead, they are beating a team they should. Looks like Desi is heating up at the right time along with Zim and Werth. Looks like Rendon is a little cold, but I think he will bounce back. The only long term negative is ALR, he looks old and it is now week 7 of his slump. Again, historically ALR starts a season slow and heats up. This season he started hot and has gone cold the past 7 weeks. I really think Rizzo needs to address this. Its not a slump it is a clear trend, he does not even hit the ball well.

    Bryce’s reaction was plain juvenile. I have no problem with his strikeout, I have a problem with his trying to one up the umpire. Bryce is the one who swung at a clear ball outside the strike zone.

  95. Section 222 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Sorry FP, Ryan Zimmerman does not run out every ball to first. He plays hard, but he dogs it down the line just like everyone else on routine groundballs.

  96. conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Dang, no cycle for Ian.

  97. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Bryce , take note of how Zim struck out – he didn’t try to fake out umpire or talk back. He tipped his hat and walked away.

    • micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      well said. Unfortunately, Bryce is full of himself and he knows more about baseball and life than RZim and other veteran players. How dare anyone teach or correct Bryce.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Bryce will go to his grave convinced he tipped that ball. He was showing the bat to the HP ump, to Matty, to Espinosa, to Span, to Rendon, … I think he showed it to most of the first row in the stands. He could NOT believe the call.

      • scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        He’s full of it. He knew.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:29 AM

        Well, lacking scmargenau’s telepathy, I have no real idea whether Harper knew or not. But I can easily see how he would be convinced that he did simply because he swung and heard the double tap of a foul tip/catch. And in a case where there are multiple completely plausible explanations, I’m not willing to adopt one and rule out the others even if it fits my own internal monologue/narrative.

  98. Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    LaRoche has to sit tomorrow no?

  99. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Coors Field cures all ills (well, most ills).

  100. scmargenau - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    So maybe MW new what he was doing filling out lineup card

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      Absolutely. He probably had the film on Bryce’s AB against the lefty starter. K’d on 3 pitches the 1st time he faced him and 2 of the strikes were under the zone and 1 was in the dirt.

      I thought it was the right move because you got the A infield which you needed behind Fister. Ryan is fine in LF with the glove and you hope he doesn’t need the arm.

      It all worked out great.

  101. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Espinosa with RBI hits from both sides of the plate. When’s the last time he did that!

    • Eric - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      Faaaaaaaantastic!!

    • micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      that was nice to see

    • Danny - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      When’s the last game he had an RBI? Seriously it has to be around 2 months.

  102. conatsguy - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Nice effort Nats

  103. micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    11 over 500 and 1st place!

  104. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Anyone know who the new coach/assistant is in the dugout? Last name is Palace.

  105. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Nats in sole possession of 1st Place.

  106. micksback1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    our #4 and #5 pitchers have 18 wins combined!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Pre-season presumptive #4 and #5 are pitching like dualing #1’s!

  107. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    But I do think FP is right. I’m going to get some 9-inch stirrups.

    • scmargenau - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      I’m widya sofa. I’m gonna wear them to work.

  108. scmargenau - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Darn it. In instant analysis

  109. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Nice article on Giolito (maybe this was posted already, it’s from a couple of days ago.) Giolito on Tommy John

    • Doc - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      If Dr. Andrews is right, then some definite reforms are needed at the introductory levels for kids.

      It shouldn’t be necessarily about winning but about playing smart, healthy baseball. I know that these little league coaches put in lots of time. But they need lots of help in understanding the orthopedics of young kids.

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