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Game 100: Nats at Reds

Jul 25, 2014, 3:22 PM EST

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It’s hard to believe even while typing this that the Nationals are playing their 100th game of the season tonight. But here we are, as the Nats begin a three-game series with the injury-depleted Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

The Reds are a game above .500 at 51-50, but many of their biggest names are currently out due to injuries. Joey Votto will not play, as he is on the disabled list with a left quadriceps injury. Brandon Phillips is out recovering from left thumb surgery.

What’s left is still a talented team, however, and tonight the Nats will face one of the NL’s best pitchers in Alfredo Simon (12-4, 2.74). The 2014 All-Star has helped lead the Reds to victory in seven of his last eight starts.

Simon beat the Nats this year on May 21 with seven innings of one-run ball. That was his only career start against the Nationals, but in 11 total appearances holds a 2.14 ERA vs. the franchise.

Tanner Roark (9-6, 2.91) will take the mound for Washington. He also pitched in that May 21 game and took the loss despite giving up just two runs (one earned) in six innings of work. That was the only time he has faced Cincinnati.

The Nats’ lineup today includes Zach Walters at second base for the first time in his major league career. He has played there in 38 minor league games, posting a .979 fielding percentage with four errors. We’ll see what he’s got.

Mark and I are not in Ohio for this series, so please check back for analysis in the morning…

 

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, 1580 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (55-44)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
2B Zach Walters
RHP Tanner Roark

REDS (51-50)
CF Billy Hamilton
2B Skip Schumaker
3B Todd Frazier
LF Ryan Ludwick
RF Jay Bruce
C Devin Mesoraco
1B Brayan Pena
SS Zack Cozart
RHP Alfredo Simon

UMPIRES
HP Mark Carlson
1B Jeff Nelson
2B Toby Basner
3B Laz Diaz

162 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    So–a platoon at 2B. This will be interesting. Glad to see Jayson’s knee is up to playing.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      How is this a platoon unless you think Walters gets RHPs and Espi gets LHPs. I expect short-term success from both. Espi because he is more disciplined right now and Walters because they don’t have a scouting report on him.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        Walters because they don’t have a scouting report on him.

        Hope so. Didn’t work out so well for him earlier this season.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        HH, this is what Walters did against LHPs this season .444/.444/1.444/1.889

        It was his 2 for 24 batting left-handed early in the seaon against RHPs that killed his stats. Of course he got a hit on Wednesday against the RHP in his first game back.

        Danny hits LHPs well. Neither have hit RHPs well.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Walters’s minor leagues stats, which are based on a bigger sample size, indicate he is a better lefthanded hitter than his MLB stats.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        I understand. His MLB stats just haven’t mirrored that.

      • Section 222 - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        So do you think Walters is going to play every day? LH may not be his best side, but it’l probably better than Espi’s LH. I guess we won’t know until we face a lefty, but even Mark suggested a platoon might be the plan? And I’m curious, on what are you basing your statement that “Espi is more disciplined right now.” He’s started one game since Zim went down.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Espi looked great in the limited at-bats he’s had the last week but that’s his MO that after a benching he plays better than goes back into Danny Mode swinging for 500 and becomes Danny The Kaye.

        I have no illusions about Danny. I just don’t see these guys as a platoon. I prefer Danny’s defense, but overall I prefer a new player via trade.

      • Section 222 - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        Espi looked great batting RH in one game in COL. He went 1 for 4 with a K in his start after Zim’s injury batting LH. I don’t think that tells us anything, but if it does, it’s that he’s ok against lefties. The question is whether Walter can hit righties. Hopefully we’ll find out that he can.

        I’m fine with just starting Walters every day to see what he can do until they figure out if a trade is possible. (As you know, I’m doubtful Rizzo will make a move.) But if they want to platoon because of Espi’l superior D, that’s fine too.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        You’re right but the thing I see is 2 players who are very similar. Both swing at balls out of the zone and suffer from a large proportion of swing and miss.

        Results in AAA don’t always translate but the Nats are playing the hot hand. Walters was red hot.

      • Section 222 - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        That could very well be true. If so, good on MW for trying to keep it going.

        I’m not wild about the platoon (or Walters) as a long term solution, but if Rizzo doesn’t make a move, it’s a whole lot better than sending Espi up there every day and watching him prove me right that he’s never going to be a good MLB hitter again.

  2. davecydell - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    I will take Tanner vs anyone, he is a profitable unknown.
    Small Vegas fav w/the line moving towards him.

  3. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    I remember after 100 games the 69 Nats were 50-50 and ended up 86-76. seems like yesterday. If I recall, the nats won 4 straight to get to 50-50

  4. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    If Walters hits consistently, this young man could make a splash and end up solving not only an important hole t fill this season, but well beyond. If you look at most WS Champs, it seems they all have some young player in their system that is called up either due to injury or not and they end up being the missing piece.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Usually players don’t get better from the Minors to the Majors in the long-term. Short-term success, sure.

  5. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    with Votto and Phillips out for reds, Nats can not use R Zim’s injury as an excuse period

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Mick, who’s complaining and making excuses. It sucks but injuries have always been part of the game.

  6. bowdenball - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    For all the complaining about Harper batting sixth, his numbers this season pale in comparison to the guy in the 6 spot for the opponent today.

    Two things at work here I think: One, right or wrong many managers consider the 6 spot as important or more important than the 2 spot. Two, everything is magnified when it’s BRYCE HARPER, and a closer look at other teams and lineups reveals that it’s really not a big deal or even unusual to have a guy with his numbers in that spot.

  7. tcostant - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Zach Walters :)

    Thank You

  8. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Its possible our #4 and #5 pitchers win 30 games combine

    • adcwonk - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      It’s possible that any two of our regular starters will win 30 games combined.

      • micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        my point was that #4 and #5 usually are not in the equation to win a combined 30 and it is usually a combo of the ace, #2 or #3.

      • adcwonk - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        I think using numbers on our starters right now doesn’t add much to the conversation. They are all pitching pretty well now. The ERA for all five are less than 3.75, which I think is pretty remarkable.

  9. adcwonk - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Good afternoon, Zach. You’re starting today. Oh, and your opponent is the league’s win leader in pitching, top 10 in ERA and WHIP, and an all star two weeks ago.

    Welcome to the bigs, kid.
    ;-)

  10. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I disagree Wonk and I think it does add to the conversation in a positive way, for these reasons:

    Given the fact that both Ejack in 2012 and Haren 2013 clearly did not pan out, along with the fact that Det was on DL on several occasions during that time, it is quite relevant.

    The fact that not much is expected from #4 and #5, and i fact sjm has stated that before, I feel it is quite a storyline and the reason that Nats have stayed tough.

    Stras by all accounts has been disappointing, or at the least, not pitching on the level one would expect from an ace pitcher, Gio has struggled and JZim really has been the only consistent starter among the so deemed top 3.

    it is a big deal and i think most fans would agree

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      More wins is better. Don’t need to criticize Stras or anyone else to make the point.

    • adcwonk - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Can we please stop asserting that Stras is an “ace” for the purpose of bashing him for not being an “ace”? I knew that’s where you were going with this, which is why I said that using numbers now doesn’t add to the conversation.

      Yes — Roark has been a complete surprise, and as a replacement for EJax and Haren, he’s been awesome.

      But Fister has always been a rock-solid pitcher, never getting enough respect because he was on a team with guys like Verlander, Scherzer, and Annibal Sanchez. Yes, Fister had the worst ERA among those — but it was still 3.67, which is pretty decent for the AL.

      (And, speaking of which, thanks, Ghost, for pointing out that Stras is doing better than Verlander this year)

      • NatsLady - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        Just about everyone is doing better than Verlander this year.

      • adcwonk - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        I just checked — there are 42 AL starters who “qualify”. Verlander has the 40th best ERA. Ouch!!

    • sjm308 - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Mick – I think at this time there really is not a # 1 or # 5
      Those guys are all throwing every 5 days and we are not shuffling things to skip a start.
      Now, when we get to the playoffs you might see some sort of reordering who pitches games 1-4.
      You won’t agree but I think SS will be one of those 4 guys

  11. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I think it is more remarkable that Tanner Roark who we basically obtained for free has contributed more to this team and Ejack and Haren combined

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Baseball is a game that can boggle your mind. Roark has a better ERA than Verlander but then again so do all the Nats current starters.

  12. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    All right! I’ll get to see some of this one in real time. At least until I fall asleep in front of the tv.

  13. Doc - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Looks like I’ll get to pick up the game on “Reds’ TV”!

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Me too. Rather have MASN but still better than the crew from ATL.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Fastest ascent I can remember in a long time for an A ball kid. Matt Moore had a quick rise and got better at each level.

    “@AdamKilgoreWP: The Nats promoted RHP Austin Voth to AA Harrisburg. He started 2014 in Hagerstown, spent a month in Potomac. Plus command, advanced feel.”

  15. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Dmitry Young is skinny now

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Oh my gawd!

    • letswin3 - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      I’m guessing it has something to do with his health (lost weight to improve his health) ….. was in diabetes?

      • letswin3 - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        … was it (not in) diabetes?

      • adcwonk - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        Yeah — that’s my guess, too. And, presuming that’s the case, I’m very happy for him.

        BTW, I was at a game where he hit his only triple for the Nats — it was awesome seeing him going around the bases like a freight train. That year, 2007, he finished the season hitting .320 in over 500 PA. His career high.

  16. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Dang, Dmitri lost a whole person. Still looks to have a great smile. Yes, I believe the diagnosis was type 2 diabetes in his case.

  17. letswin3 - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    I must have missed it …. did Eugene from Oregon make the game last Saturday? I know he was worried that his flight could be delayed, causing him to miss out.

    • sjm308 - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      Yes he did and it was great he took the time to come up t 308 and say hi

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 25, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    I wasn’t at Saturday’s game but maybe someone else will know.

  19. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Simon is good, but that is squandered opportunity one, with 4th and 5th batters and our 4h batter a lefty. At least Ian put the ball in play

  20. MicheleS - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Quick work from Tanner, LOVE that he is picking the brains of the other Pitchers. AND CAN WE PLEASE SIGN FISTER to say a 4 or 5 year deal? PLEASE? AND MAKE SURE STRAS’S LOCKER IS NEXT TO HIS!!

  21. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    3 swings and a K

  22. veejh - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Finally found a sports bar in CT where I can catch a game. Been weeks since I’ve caught a game. Been Jonesing.

  23. natsjackinfl - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Checking to see if WordPress works on my S4 since it decided to dump my last 2 posts.

  24. philipd763 - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Braves beginning a series with the Padres tonight. It seems like they never play a team with a winning record.

  25. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Someone be clutch arg!

  26. secretwasianman - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Once again no big hit

  27. veejh - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Gotta love Roark’s style. Attack.

  28. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Span again stranded in scoring position. Come on guys, you gotta drive em in.

    Another quick inning from Tanner.

  29. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Word Press acting crazy again tonight. Have to hunt around to find the most recent posts.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Alright, Rookie!

  31. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Horrible mistake

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      It could’ve been worse. I’ll take getting three in.

      • David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        Rendon bailed Span out. Could’ve been bad.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Brain fart, but at least Span got the run in.

    Way to go, Anthony!

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Make contact and good things happen.

  34. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Rendon with a big hit after Span’s brain cramp. As Ghost has pointed out AR’s “slump” seems to be more a case of bad luck BABIP.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      Exactly. When you end up on Web Gems as the batter twice in 1 game you’re just hitting into bad luck.

  35. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Does Hamilton run with the Reds down three runs?

  36. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    That stinks. At least only 1 run

  37. unkyd59 - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Word press fail…. I want my money back!!!

  38. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Quick hook by Price. Hoover I guess to replace him.

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      Quick yes, Dusty probably let’s him stay in despite his struggles tonight.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        He was at 89 pitches but still surprised he didn’t give him the rest of the inning.

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Reds TV guys saying he struggled in his last start coming out of the all star break.

  39. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    After seeing the replay of the Reds run scoring play. Damn, that was a gift.

  40. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Padres up 4-0 in the 4th.

  41. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Ramos has to do a better job in his AB.

  42. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Feels like we should have 6 or 7 runs.

    • David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      We should.

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        What do we have something like 10 runners LOB?

      • Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        I’ll take it though!

  43. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    good job ALR!

    come on Desi, don’t cool down now

  44. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Tanner at 70 pitches

  45. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Bryce is nice!

  46. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Great play by Harper! I hope he didn’t hurt himself.

  47. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    San Diego now up 5-0 over ATL. Hope Harper is okay.

  48. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Harper striking about too much for my liking.

    • micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      agreed, looking at Walters, I know he needs more at bats and I’m very happy with his double, but, from his first time around with Nats, it seems to me he could be another Espinoza, in that he may strikeout alot, I hope not

      • Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Look at Walters minor league stats. He is pretty much a minor league Espy, but with Id away more major league pop. High strikeouts, low OBP. Much worse defenseS Hard to see his peripherals as an every day major leaguer on a contender.

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Wilson Ramos loves hitting in the Great American Small Park.

  50. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    agree with you on harper

  51. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    at least Zach made contact, that is fine

  52. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Gotta give some major love to Roark. For someone who wasn’t guaranteed a rotation spot he has been fantastic. Arguably our best starter so far.

  53. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Roark getting chase pitches out of the zone. That is great deception and pitch calling. Fun to watch. Some will say that the entire Reds team is slumping, but I see very good pitching.

    • Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      Hope I didn’t jinx it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Ha, yah, I was just complimenting him as you were. Keep the ball down Tanner.

      • Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Tony smooth bailed us out!

  54. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Saved by a Web Gem by Rendon. WOW!

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Terrific play!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:41 PM

        You have to wonder if Storen was warm enough to come in because if Rendon doesn’t make that play, it’s a real jam in a 4-2 game.

  55. Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    BJ had a throwing error that cost the Braves earlier. That is Upton’s 6th error in CF this year.

  56. davecydell - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Nats could make a fatal mistake in playoffs if shortened rotation includes Stras and excludes Roark.

  57. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Was surprised after Walters made the last out that Storen and Espinosa didn’t come into the game with Espinosa batting 9th at second base and Storen in the 8 spot. I thought Storen would have been warming up in the BP.

  58. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    In case you haven’t been watching these Batting Averages, your team leaders:

    Ramos: .302
    Span: .287
    Werth: .283
    Rendon: .281
    ALR: .278

    Span at .287 is remarkable. May 15th he was batting .235 He’s raised his BA over 50 points since then.

    • nats128 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Update that to .289 for Span

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Who needs a walk when you have a four hit night like a Span?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Ever since Bryce opened his mouth about the lineup Span has been on a mission!

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        Actually, I think Span’s whole game took a huge upturn when FanGraphs rated him -10 UZR. Pride took over, with great results.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      Nice job by Denard breaking up the double play.

  59. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Another Hairston at-bat and another easy out. Why Matty why? Please save us from the misery.

    • micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      Ghost, i bet hairston is gone next week

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        I already lost my bet. I said no way he’d return after the All Star break and here he still is.

  60. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    I will say it again and the facts bare this out, Tanner Roark is a remarkable story this season for a guy who had to battle and be the 5th pitcher.

    Also, Scott Hairston buddy, you are stealing your pay check!

    • nats128 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      Tell me this why wasnt McLouth pinch hitting instead of Hairston. Any one have a answer as the pitcher was rightie.

      • micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        excellent question, the only plausible answer is that MW is allowing Hairston a chance to show he can hit

      • nats128 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        A chance. I thought he got that with that start in Colorado where he went 0-3 and pulled.

    • natszee - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      He has to go

  61. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    agreed Ghost, Bryce needs to worry about his own hitting

  62. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    Tommy Medica must want to be traded. He’s 4-4 now for San Diego vs Barves.

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      Who is Tommy Medica?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        A part-time player who is being showcased for a trade. Medica could be a bench upgrade for some teams.

      • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Have to admit I never heard of him.

  63. micksback1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    was a good shot by ALR, no problem with that

  64. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Look at Ramos pouncing out of the crouch. He beat Rendon to that foul bunt!

  65. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Reading up on Rendon through his collegiate and minor league career. There was never any mention as to how fantastic he is at 3rd. My word.

    • coop202 - Jul 26, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      Just as a quick note – this isn’t really true but he was more recognized for his bat particularly when be was injuried his last year in college

  66. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Rendon has to get a Web Gem for that bunt throw out of Hamilton. Rendonculous!

  67. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Reds announcers dropping all sorts of praise on Rendon on that bunt play.

  68. scnatsfan - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Roark just gets more and more impressive

    • knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      +1

  69. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Improve this bench and 1 nasty reliever and Beltre or Castro and this team is unstoppable.

    • Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Braves imploding against terrible teams also helps :)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        Here’s another name for you, Jesse Hahn 3 hit the Barves in his start with 1 earned run.

  70. Danny - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Bryce Bryce Bryce. Please stop striking out at Espy rates.

  71. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Ok Sori, time for a curly W in the score book.

  72. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Barves got on to start the 8th with an error and then LaStella hits into a doubleplay!

  73. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Can’t get up free passes Soriano. Come on man!

  74. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    I don’t get how the outfielders weren’t deeper for Mesaroco in that no-doubles but I guess it doesn’t matter. Glad Espi was inserted for defense.

    Untucked!

  75. knoxvillenat - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Good start to the weekend series. Here’s to taking another series, maybe a sweep, and on to Miami!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      Good win against Simon who made the Nats look silly in DC. Roark who has been shakey on the road was really good tonight. I was impressed until he HBP’d Mesaroco and luckily the defense helped him finish off his game.

  76. secretwasianman - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Listened on radio just got in for the 9 th. Great game by all. Except Soriano. I’m sorry folks this guy just has nothing special. The strikeout to the second batter was ball 4. Rather see clippard in that spot.

    • sjm308 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      At least you are consistant

    • Section 222 - Jul 26, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      This meme is so May 2014. Didn’t you get the memo? Sori is pitching great this year. 24 of 27 saves is just fine, thank you.

  77. Doc - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Could Souza be on his way here, in the next few weeks?????

    Unlike Hairston, Souza can field!

    Probably the best overall hitter in the minors!

  78. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Bases loaded walk by San Diego 5-2

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      Should say walk given up by San Diego. Blue did not help San Diego on a check swing.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        On to the 9th in Atlanta. Still 5-2

  79. NatsLady - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Benoit got out of it with only one run, bases loaded and Chris Johnson pops up. He sure seems to have been a one-season wonder.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Johnson has changed his mechanics. He’s swinging long. He’s striking out at the worst pace in his career.

    • rayvil01 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      I think he’s their best hitter at the moment. Says a lot what you are pointing out.

  80. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Did Roark say he’s now throwing JZim’s slider?

    • nats128 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      Yes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        Interesting, I commented in his last start that his slider was much tighter with the late life.

        I didn’t realize he changed his grip.

  81. coollikelivo - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    WAY TO GO! As FP said in post-game — you gotta step on the throats of struggling teams while you can.

  82. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Thank you Padres. Nats up 2 1/2!

  83. David Proctor - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    2.5 games up. Our biggest lead of the year. Even more significant, we’re building this cushion during the easy part of the Braves schedule. They’ve gone 3-5 against the Phils, Fish and Padres. Their schedule gets much tougher next month

  84. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    I just watched some game highlights. Biggest hit of the game was that double by Zach Walters but as I watched it in slow motion he reached out over the plate on an outside pitch and instead of serving that oppo, he pulled the ball to rightfield.

    When I look at Pitch F/X, the ball wasn’t even in the K zone.

    • letswin3 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Yeah, I noticed the same thing during the game, but I didn’t really know how to respond. It reveals his discipline issues, but he also found a way to make good contact with it. I’m just glad he got the start, and hope that he gets every start until the trade deadline …. let’s find out if he can be an answer, a partial answer, a dream that’s another year away or whatever.

    • rayvil01 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Correct. Buy he did something productive with it

  85. letswin3 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    When the Padres took a one zip lead early in the Braves game, FP Santangelo said that when the Pads score one or more, Papa Johns is half-price the next day.

  86. rayvil01 - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Plus 4 in the lost column. Time to bury 2013.

  87. natszwei - Jul 26, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    Rendon has been beyond excellent this year, but I wanted to raise one concern RE his offensive profile. The guy never walks. Like…barely ever. Not Desi levels…but almost Desi levels. And for somebody who’s not going to hit a ton of home runs (maybe a 20-22 homer guy tops) it would help to not have that quality negate his BA when it comes to getting on base. Just consider…for all of the concern over Bryce this year and all of the Tony love, Bryce has a better OBP. Its extra interesting because Tony doesn’t swing at a ton of bad pitches AT ALL and is fairly selective at the plate….he just puts the ball in play when he swings and ALWAYS swings on 3-ball counts. I’d love to see him improve that for next year. NIT. PICK. ING!!

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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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