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Game 102: Nats at Reds

Jul 27, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

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After a frustrating, 1-0 loss yesterday at Great American Ball Park, the Nationals return today needing a win to take the weekend series against the Reds and continue their impressive run. They’ve either won or split nine of their last 10 series.

Who better, then, to have on the mound than Doug Fister? The right-hander has made six starts immediately after a Nationals loss, and has produced five wins. He also beat the Reds back in May, allowing two runs over seven innings.

With the pitch-to-contact Fister starting, the Nationals are going with a defense-first lineup, including Danny Espinosa at second base. That lineup will face right-hander Mat Latos, who boasts a 3.15 ERA in seven starts but has only two wins due to poor run support.

I’m not in Cincinnati, but I’ll be heading down to Miami tomorrow for the final leg of the road trip and the final stretch before Thursday’s trade deadline. Enjoy the game and the conversation…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Chance of rain, 80 degrees, Wind 12 mph RF to LF

NATIONALS (56-45)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Doug Fister

REDS (52-51)
CF Billy Hamilton
2B Skip Schumaker
3B Todd Frazier
RF Jay Bruce
C Devin Mesoraco
1B Jack Hannahan
LF Donald Lutz
SS Ramon Santiago
RHP Mat Latos

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

314 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    GYFNG!

  2. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Latos is very good so we’ll have to play well. For all the vitriol following a loss, let’s remember we haven’t lost a series in over a month. We’re in first place. Even if we lose today, we’ll be in first place. That’s what matters

    • Another Tyler - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      +1

  3. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    I wish Ramos would play today, Nats need to win series, then rest Ramos on Monday

  4. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Very cool- David Gregory, Nats fan and season ticket holder, was talking about the Nats and history of baseball in DC on Meet the Press.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Good Luck Mr. Fister and Nats Bats! Let’s win the series!

  6. Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Yesterday wasn’t a night game, so WTF with our Buffalo sitting on the pines???

    Should be sitting Harper, so he can watch re-runs of his run-outs!

    He owes the team to-day—-like about 3 HRs!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      That’s looking shortsighted and the right move by MW. Today could be the day that Lobaton comes through! ;)

      • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        The Buffalo is hot, Ghost. The Lobaton has not looked good at the plate, and now it looks like we could have 3 straight outs at the bottom of the order.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        Worse than that the Lobo was not good behind the dish last time out but with that said its the right thing to do sticking to the catcher plan.

      • Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Sure Ghost, when pigs learn how to fly my friend!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        I give Lobo a better chance of getting a hit off of Latos than Frandsen did yesterday vs Cueto.

      • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Ghost, i am all for rest and in fact I have been on MW for not resting Werth and Span more in the outfield. i’m just saying with the Marlins coming up, why not rest Ramos in the first game and play him today, thats all. Perhaps, Ramos said he was tired and then I understand

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        You make some good points. Mesaroco is in for the Reds I see.

      • Another Tyler - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        Doesn’t Fister prefer working with Lobaton or something?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        I think he just wants to win.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Agreed- with Zim out, days off need to be handed out carefully and not according to some pre-determined written-in-stone baseball doctrine.

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        This isnt a true day game after a night game. Ramos could play today and sit on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday.

  7. Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Let’s not get behind.

    It’s not easy hitting 103 mph FBs off of Chapman!

  8. #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Gotta think long term with Ramos. He shouldn’t catch more than 4-5 times a week.

    Eric asked about the role of a third base coach. His role is to give direction to a runner when the ball is behind the runner. That is why all decisions on scoring from third when the ball is in the OF are made by him. When going first to third, the only time he can or should be helpful is when the ball is to the foul line side of the RF since most decisions like that are made when the runner is half way between 1st and 2nd. From the play’s description, Harper had the ball in front of him yestreday since he made the decision when the 3B was picking up the ball. That’s on him and he should not even look at the 3B coach.

    It’s always better for the runner to make the decision when possible because there is no delay in reaction from the base coach’s signal. It’s for this reason that I used to tell players that the most irrelevant person on the field is the firs base coach becasue the ball is almost always in front of the runner when he is at or approaching first.

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      I was actually thinking of the other play, the play where Harper rounded second and didn’t hustle back to first, although I guess once the ball was caught the play is still more or less “in front” of him and he really needs to gear up sooner. He also needs to develop the kind of instinct Span has to know when an outfielder will catch a ball. I’ve seen Span hang bag to tag when I was SURE the outfielder wouldn’t get to the ball–and the outfielder got to the ball and Span tagged and got the next base.

      • #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        I understand what you’re saying. I think all immediate reactions on batted balls are the baserunner’s choice. BH should have gotten close to 2B and waited to see if it was caught. He could have scored regardless. There were no outs in the inning, I think. Tagging on that ball would not have been a good play. It wasn’t a sure catch.

      • Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Reds announcers, Tom Brenneman and Chris Welch, criticized Harper for not making a ‘big-league’ effort in getting back to 1st.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Agree he shouldn’t have hung back to tag on first base, but he should have played more cautiously at second. If the ball isn’t caught there is plent of time to score, and if it is, time to get back to first. I’m hoping that’s the kind of thing he’ll learn, instead of going all-or-nothing.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Right. Hanging back to tag from 1st is almost always a bad play unless it’s a deep and high fly to left or center that will obviously be caught. But turning on the jets and rounding second wasn’t necessary to score. He could have gone 7/8 of the way to second and watched to see if it was caught. If it was, he could have made it back with some hustle. Bad play, FP’s excuses notwithstanding.

    • Eric - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      #4, to clarify, I was asking about the role of 3B coach specifically when a runner is rounding second, not about the role of 3B coach in general. I’ve often wondered what help, if any, a runner rounding second might expect from the 3B coach. Your general rule of thumb about looking to the coach if the play is behind you sheds good light on that…thanks!!

      Also, when I asked I was thinking specifically of Harp trying to go first to third on the infield single. Could be he was hoping the pressure would lead to an error on either throw. In that sense, Henley holding him as he rounded third might make sense, as if to say, “hey, the throw was clean at first.” In any case, the risky outcome was far more likely than the successful one, and the situation essentially demanded that we retain the lead runner. Maybe if it were tied or more so if we were up 1 run, the calculus might have made a bit of sense.

      • #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        “Putting pressure on” in that situation is a bit amateurish in the literal sense of the word. For big leaguers – particularly a guy like Frazier who plays lots of 3B, that throw across the diamond is awfully routine.

        Also Henley holding him is really pretty irrelevant. Harper has to be going full steam the whole way and not looking for a coach’s signal to have even a whiff of a chance to make it. The timing on that play is such that he has to make the decision to go before the 1B catches the ball, not after.

      • Eric - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        Yeah. I’m not suggesting what Harper may have been thinking because I think there’s reasoning that might be sound…just speculating.

        NL’s comment on the subject is what got me thinking about 3B role.

  9. nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Bill Ladson running with the Beltre rumor. Not a good sign when Ladson gets hold of a rumor. I guess the good news is that it was broken before Ladson.

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      I thought the Nats were “rebuffed” by Texas. Is there more recent news? I am on the side of getting Beltre. I just don’t see this Espinosa/Walters/Frandsen thing working for two months, and what if Desi or Rendon get a minor injury? Very thin,.

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Espinosa is the only one who is a plus defender. Just having the other 2 gets dicey.

        The Ladson rumor was mentioned on MLB Network.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        128, I’d say Rendon is a plus defender too, even at 2B. If we get Beltre, which seems highly unlikely, Rendon goes back to 2B. He remains the backup 3B, Espi goes back to the pine as the backup 2B and SS.

        I agree with you NL that the rotating trio is not a great option for two months or the rest of the season. I just don’t get the feeling that Rizzo is going to make a major deal.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Here is a link to that NBC segment on baseball in DC. http://www.nbcnews.com/video/meet-the-press/55725236#55725236

    • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      good link and thank you. I have talked baseball with David a few years ago, he is a great dude and he knows his stuff, I alos had the pleasure of talking baseball with Tim Russert, man I miss him.

      • natsjackinfl - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        One thing we definitely agree on. Tim Russert was the best.

  11. #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    On Beltre, if the Nats are going to trade for a big bat, it ought to be LH. Presumably by making that sort of deal, there are declaring that they plan to jettison either LaRoche or Span at the end of the year and in essence replace him with this newly acquired piece. If it’s right-handed, it makes their line-up too RH dominant.

    Chase Utley anyone? I doubt either team wants to trade in the division, but I still think think he’s got some baseball left in him.

    • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      #4 you know, I have a feeling that Utley could end up here, know it sounds insane, but we will see.

      that would be beautiful and would really stick it to Philly

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      I think Beltre is a rental, and you flip him in November. You can’t make him a QO, but another team can in 2015, so he has a lot of value on the market that will be looking for RH power. So, no, I’m not worried about adding a RH bat (Beltre) to replace a RH bat (Zimmerman) in the short term.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        The problem is that the Rangers are thinking that way too, and “rebuffed” probably means they upped the price.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Maybe you even flip him back to the Rangers. Is it collusion if GMs agree to do that?

      • #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        I’ve never been understand the impression that Rizzo is fond of rentals. I’m not either.

      • #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Yes it is collusion. They don’t want certain teams acting as extended AAA rosters where contenders can pick up players on the cheap. It ruins competition.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        @ #4, not he’s not. He always likes a trade to be “for the future.” Beltre does have another year and an option on his contract, so it’s not exactly a rental because you could keep him, and yes, granted, that would put only two lefties in the lineup (only one, Bryce, with power). But you keep a lefty power bat in Syracuse (Skole?) and wait for the injuries.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Sometimes you want a rental, and I think this is the case. You have a short-term problem, Zim’s injury, not a longterm need. Rizzo always wanting more than one year has led to Hairston and McLouth outstaying their welcome.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      You all crack me up. Did I not mention Utley right after the RZim injury and I got told the Phools won’t trade him inside the division.

      Utley is my 3rd choice. My first choice is Starlin Castro because when RZim comes back the Nats have the most flexibility. Beltre certainly brings the biggest bat. Short-term Beltre is the choice.

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        I’ve watched Castro play. He makes a lot of mistakes. Now, he might grow out of them like Desi did. He might not. At any rate, I don’t want him this year because we can’t afford the mistakes. So that takes him off the board for me.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Castro will have to play 3rd or 2nd like I explained. I’ve seen him play plenty and you are correct, he makes mistakes, all players do. He needs the change of scenery and get that motivation.

        Look, if Castro doesn’t want the trade, then yes, Beltre.

      • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        You guys/gals really think Rizzo will make a major mid-season move like that ? He has not shown the ability to do that kind of thing. I agree with all of you- he needs to put all the chips on the table now. I just don’t think he will.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Yes, it solves the bench problem also. The only reason he won’t do it is if the freight costs too much.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Yes, I think you mentioned Utley, but that was quite a while ago and you’ve been much more on the Aaron Hill and Castro train since them. Apparently now Hill isn’t as big a favorite for you, and Beltre (who I’m pretty sure NL mentioned first) is your choice. Hard to keep up, and I read this blog pretty carefully.

        I also think you agreed with or even joined the chorus of reasons that an Utley trade wasn’t likely to happen. But even if you didn’t, just because you mention possible trades does that mean no one else is allowed to discuss them without crediting you? Do you have copyright ownership of every idea you express so that no one else can bring up a similar thought? Ever considered the possibility that not everyone reads everything you write, and even fewer remember everything you say?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        I was on the Aaron Hill as Espi’s replacement a long time ago. There’s now better choices given Rendon’s flexibility.

        Yes, good reasons Utley wouldn’t happen because same division trades are more complicated.

        To the rest, yes, yes, and yes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Actually Beltre was mentioned by someone in a funny 3 team trade idea that was Beltre to Nats and LaRoche to the Pirates, and credit for that is John Smoltz.

  12. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    This is the dreaded Espi, Lobo, Pitcher at the bottom of the lineup. I think i would have played Espi on a day when the Buffalo was in the lineup, but it’s not the end of the world. Let’s hope Fister is on today.

    Having now heard Harper’s interview, it sounds like the original call in the 9th was to sacrifice, and then the second attempt was the design play. A bit of overmanaging I’d say. Just let the guy swing away and see if he can get a hit. Giving up an out is just not a good idea. The designed play is clever, but doesn’t a 103 mph pitch negate the slow move to the plate? I’m not sure.

    Harper totally not taking responsibility for the screwup on being doubled off first: “Nothing I could do.” Well, how about not taking off and rounding the bag, for one? Not that I really expected him to.

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Harper’s not big on “taking responsibility.” OTOH, I’m not big on expecting players to “take responsibility” in interviews, as I think it’s a completely pointless exercise. Harper will take responsibility, in my eyes, by making better decisions in the future.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Like I said, I didn’t really expect him to take responsibility though he might have said, “yeah, I really thought that ball was going to drop, and I wanted to try to score. My bad. I can easily see Werth or Zim saying something like that. And pitchers take responsibility all the time. Just think if Soriano said something like “he made a great swing, nothing I could do.” The pitchforks would be out in full force here.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Yes, this is a weak offensive lineup because of the bottom of the order. You never know with Lobo, he could have a breakout day, but he hasn’t looked good at the plate this year overall.

      Totally agree on the over managing aspect. MW has demonstrated a tendency to do that.

  13. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    the rangers are clearly in a better place than Philly and will probably get back in contention in a year or two, the point being, one has to be careful when making a deal with them

  14. breakbad1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    I would really like to see a debate between Mark and FP on Harper’s “hustle” on the play where he was doubled off yesterday.

    All my money is on Mark in this debate.

    In his post-game summary, Mark wrote of Harper, “He strayed too far (and then failed to hustle back) on Wilson Ramos’ lineout to deep right-center in the second inning.”

    But FP saw it differently. He said Bryce “Did a heckuva job to make it this close at first.” Then he added, “The hustle getting back is pretty impressive too.”

    Interestingly, FP heaped additional praise on Harper by saying “Most baserunners give us on this play.”

    It is obvious, watching the play, that Harper DID NOT hustle, and that he DID give up on the play. When the throw came in a little wide, Harper saw it and began to actually run about the last 30 feet, after a long, upright jog.

    As i said, Mark would win this debate hands-down. I’d love to see him and FP have the discussion on TV.

    The weird media universe also expressed itself in today’s gamer (Page D3) in the Post. James Wagner said that Harper’s goof on this play was “understandable.” (It was not.) Then he wrote that “Bruce fired a throw back into the infield, and the relay throw cut down a sliding Harper at first base.”

    Mr. Wagner: There was no relay throw on this play. Did you even see the play?

    I bring all this up, a day after it all happened, because I think it’s still very important to the team.

    Bryce Harper has one more stolen base than Rafael Soriano. You can look it up. (Harper also has one more than Xavier Cedeno. And one more than Matt Williams.) He is absolutely not a five-tool player.

    Other teams have clearly identified Harper as a guy who will run into outs in the name of “being aggressive.” It is time now–not to try to teach him instincts (impossible, by definition), or to continue allowing “Bryce to be Bryce,” but to tell him to be much, much more careful on the basepaths, and much more conservative.

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Game starts with a high strike. Great.

  16. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Come on Anthony. WTF? How many times am I going to see this.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      By my count, Frandsen, Span and Rendon have all now been thrown out 6-5.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      WTF was that? Good grief… the Little League base running continues.

  17. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    What is going on…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      Baseball IQ up the backsides. If I see that once a year I’m ticked. That’s 3 times in 2/3rds of the season.

  18. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    TOOTBLAN. It’s contagious.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      The “N” is correct in Nincompoop or some stronger 4 letter word.

  19. secretwasianman - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Embarrassing. No way they should happen. Especially in Late July.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Tony had his head up his butt on that one.

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      At least Rendon wont make up excuses.

  20. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Not wanting to trade in the division is a two way street. What are YOU will in to give the Phillies to get Utley?

    Usually the answer is something like “Espinosa Hairston Lobaton and McLouth. That oughta do it.”

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      “willing.” Thanks, spell correct.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      That’s a good point. It also means how do you see Utley’s place on the Nats going forward? Is he a rental or our new 2Bman?

      • #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Agreed. Not sure Utley is worth for instance having to face Voth 50 times over the next ten years.

  21. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    4 days left before the trade deadline passes. The Phoolies haven’t traded anyone yet.

  22. Danny - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    At this point it is insanity to start Espy ever against a RH. Think there is large enough sample size. Probably in though today for D with Doug pitching.

  23. nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    That ball carried by Hannahan. LF looks to be in play.

  24. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I’ll admit it would be fun to see who got booed the loudest in Philly: Werth, Utley or Harper.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      They boo Frandsen also and they will also boo their own players. Just ask Jimmy Rollins after he called them frontrunners.

      • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Of course in Philly they’ll tell you that Phillies fans are pussycats compared to Flyers or Eagles fans.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

  25. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Really anemic lineup. I think Fister had the best PA in the bottom of the order.

  26. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I would boo Jimmy Rollins, too.

  27. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    FP: The Nats have run wild on Mesaroco

    Me: That’s why I said Bryce had better chances to steal if he wanted 3rd base rather than his stupid running 1st to 3rd on an infield grounder.

    • 6ID20 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Mesoraco wasn’t catching yesterday. Brayan Pena was.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        I wonder what he’s talking about then. I guess he means on Reds catchers.

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Huge mistake by Shoemaker. Latos is unglued.

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Werth didnt make them pay. Missed chances.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        Yes it was. Latos looked a little rattled. I’ve seen that look with Strasburg. A great time to take advantage and they didn’t.

  29. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Rendon swung at a ball, I mean that was NOWHERE near the zone, and got away with it on the error.

  30. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    What happened to all the crackerbox home runs we were promised?

  31. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Oh, Jayson, that was NOT a good at-bat.

  32. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Can’t take advantage. Latos still has a no hitter going.

  33. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    It may be a bullpen battle later. I predict a buffaloe RBI in 8th

  34. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I’m pretty sure we won’t win unless we get a hit

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Come on man! If u get down that’s just foreboding.

  35. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Latos today has more Ks than Cueto yesterday at this point in the game.

  36. nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Up in the 5th Espinosa Lobaton Fister. Can Espinosa crank one.

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Yup, this is exactly what we were saying earlier- could be a quick 1-2-3.

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        See Espinosa cranked one!

  37. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Danny breaks up the no-no

  38. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    No DP = successful AB for Lobaton.

  39. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Nice AB by Span

  40. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    How many hit batters does that make in this series for the NTs?

  41. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Base hit, please…

  42. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Come on, Jayson. Salami.

  43. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Make up call….

  44. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Great at bat Jdubbs….

  45. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    An even better AB by Weth!

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      Edit:
      Werth

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    “nats128 – Jul 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM
    Up in the 5th Espinosa Lobaton Fister. Can Espinosa crank one.”

    Amazing what happens when you make contact.

    Werth with a great AB and Span to set this up.

  47. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Lagos looks like he’s a real tool. I don’t like that guy.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Edit:
      Latos

    • chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      whats with all the tattoos? Burnett must be his idol.

  48. davecydell - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Jason Werth. closest the Nats come to a Freddie Freeman.

  49. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    LaRoche trying to pull outside heat instead of going with the pitch on the 1st pitch. On the 2nd pitch that idiot Latos went same spot and he went easy oppo.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      You owe me a drink FP. ;)

      By the way, that was the best swing LaRoche has had in the month of July. Yes he had a 3 run HR but this was like a 2 run HR and smart. Nice and easy and went with what Latos gave him. LaRoche hasn’t be doing it lately.

  50. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    woo hoo… 3 runs on 2 hits… sweet and efficient.

  51. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Holy Bases on Balls, Tatman!

  52. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Ok, Doug Fister, you got a 3 run lead. Work it!

  53. veejh - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Finally got to Latos. Stop striking out, Dez.

  54. nats1924 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    in all seriousness when does MW start considering platooning LF/Harp?

    We need way more production from that position

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Even if that were a good idea, what evidence is there to suggest that Williams will do anything whatever to upset the applecart?

  55. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Now LaRoche makes a nice fielding play.

    FP: Fister knows LaRoche has great range

    Me: FP, that could be the furthest LaRoche has gone to get to a ball this year. Great range? That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Nice play Adam & Doug! You want to teach a kid pitcher how to field his position? Just take videos of Fister.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      I see why my pals in Detroit loved him.

    • nats1924 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      fielding, and dont forget to let kids watch how he pitches. the guy is nasty and barely tops out at 88mph. love it!

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Not bad for a guy with those obvious declining skills.

  57. natsjackinfl - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Man, that horrible bottom of the order never gets any hits.

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      What do you mean they have 2 today.

      • Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        NatsJack is an efficient guy who generally leaves off the “/snark” tag on his comments.
        ;o)

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Oh got you. I didnt really see anyone badmouthing Lobaton just there desire for a Buffalo meet.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        You a funny guy, Eddie.Ha!

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Good call Steady : )

  58. nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Glove barber. FP has some funny lines.

  59. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    You guys with the constant berating Harper are starting to remind me of the werthless crowd from a couple of years back.. Bryce needs to play. I think Bryce will continue to play. I also think Bryce will, like Jayson, make you eat crow.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      I guess I’ll get called a Harper apologist, but can you imagine what it must do to your head to be 21 and have been the object of so much hatred and venom (and envy) since you were 16 or 17? From a bunch of armchair experts?

  60. nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    “Ghost of Steve M. – Jul 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM
    I give Lobo a better chance of getting a hit off of Latos than Frandsen did yesterday vs Cueto.”

    Good call Ghost. Lobaton has been calling a good game to.

  61. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Nice play Werth. That has been the Bermuda triangle there many times.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      And a nice play by Espinosa getting Hamilton. That’s not an automatic out with Billy.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Wasn’t that Desi?

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        It was Espy.

  62. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Ant’ny!!!!

  63. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Timely Web Gem!

  64. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Are the Nats really shifting less than they were at the beginning of the year? Has a Nats coach ever said this or is this according to FP’s eye? As to the Nats making errors because they are playing in different spots than they are used to because of the shifts, that just sounds ridiculous to me. FP, you are the absolute world champ in making up excuses.

    • Eric - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      I seem to recall an article in the Post saying that the Nats haven’t necessarily reduced how often they shift, just how dramatically.

  65. TimDz - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Nicely done Anthony!

    Rizzo really needs to work on extending Fister….I’ve heard that Fister wants to go back to the east coast, but a nice offer could possibly change his mind….

    Get on that, Rizzo…..

  66. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Sweet play by Rendon. Wow.

  67. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Questions no one needs to ask: So, why do they call you “Jumbo?”

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Dude cannot have a good move to first, can he?

  68. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Two rounds of applause here.

    The obvious one is for Fister, who is so consistently rock-solid that I would much rather have him as a long-term signing — assuming we have to choose — than Jordan Zimmermann. With his low speed and command, he’s about as good a bet to be pretty much as effective at age 35 as he is now.

    And the second is for MW, for consistently putting in his top infield defense when Fister is pitching. For all the justified complaints about Danny’s bat, looking at the pitching duels in this series, even in this band box of a park, infield defense is clearly the right call with Fister on the mound. And heck, Danny even sometimes remembers to shorten up his swing in the middle of an at-bat.

  69. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Span with 3 walks. His walk rate is up from last year. OBP up to .342.

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      That’s what we hoped 4. I’m liking his season so far

  70. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Rendon with a Web Gem and a nice headlock from Fister in the dugout.

  71. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    3 walks today for Span. Suffice it to say his OBP is going way up!

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      Jinx. DP got u!

  72. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    I take it back on Span being able to judge when a ball will be caught! Grrrrr….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      LOL, like I said, he’s not a good baserunner because of all the plays he’s taken himself off the basepaths where they cancel out the steals he has. That’s 8 for him. The pickoffs aren’t the worst sin but the rest have been awful. That’s his 3rd doubleplay on the basepaths on balls in the air.

    • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      That’s ok. I still think your point is generally correct.

  73. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    TOOTBLAN!

  74. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    They’re all making outs on the bases to make Harper feel better.

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Ha! Rendon seems to have horrible babip luck

  75. natsjackinfl - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    This is beyond ridiculous.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      And pervasive enough that it must reflect the desires of team leadership. Same guys weren’t doing this last year.

  76. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Rendons glove is just sick.

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      (Tape delay, oops)

  77. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    These baserunning mistakes are ridiculous. That was in front of Span looking into LF. Come on man. Just as I complimented him on OBP he takes himself off the bases.

  78. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Nats need remedial baserunning classes. For goodness sakes.

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Im feeling sorry for Matty. He has to be knocking the bat on his own head.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      +1

  79. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Now the moron list grows a bit longer.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      In fairness, that was a nice catch by Lutz. Still, no excuse.

  80. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    That pitcher is funny! Somehow, you don’t mind a guy who spent 12 years in the minors celebrating a little (as long as we win the game, of course).

  81. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Another.
    Baserunning.
    Mistake.

    Good Lord.

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      A BM

      is right.

  82. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    This is getting into the Unbelievable Category. WTF is with the stupid base running mistakes?!

    • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      The play was in front of him. It wasnt like he has to look over his right shoulder into CF or RF. Its just bordering on the unbelievible.

  83. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Hey FP, is that a shade or a shift they have on for Bruce? Oh, it’s a shift? I guess it’s ok since Rendon plays 2B too, he can handle fielding a ball up the middle. Oy.

  84. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Maybe in the small park the runners get fooled by how quickly a throw from the warning track will get back to first.

    I dunno, that’s all I got.

  85. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    That was one impressive sequence by Fister against Jay Bruce. Mix of pitches, mix of locations, and when Bruce rescued himself against that nasty curve, went to an even nastier cutter in an impossible location.

  86. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I’d pull Fister right now. He just started to struggle getting the ball where he wanted it.Pull him now.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Colorado Effect?

      I’d give him a chance to get the DP.

  87. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I could read one thing on Fister’s lips. “I’m good.”

  88. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    I thought that was going to be a mistake, with Danny going back to second. Except, Mesoraco.

  89. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    I could also read Lutz’s lips there. “That’s f-in, BS”!

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      He had a point, I think.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Yup. Remember that when someone hear talks about how the umps are biased against the Nats.

  90. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Well, that’s why I’m not a ML manager. I would’ve gone to the bullpen. Nice job by Fister and pretty bad call by the 3B umpire on the check swing, but I’ll take it.

  91. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Yikes…FP’s stylist needs to be fired…

  92. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Come on FP, Fister is over 100 pitches, and Clip is now up in the bullpen. Fister is done for the day.

  93. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Badly needed hit As the nats head to Miami….

    Wth are u saying that heR and now (carp)

  94. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    LeCure needs a mustache intervention.

  95. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Bryce doesn’t see breaks at all

  96. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    The Reds fans were doing the wave, and Harper hit into a DP. How is that possible?

  97. Danny - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Ewww.

  98. chaz11963 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Bryce looks really bad at the plate. Looks like he’s trying all kinds of different approaches, including no batting gloves and back to his old stance.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Sort of reminds me of periods back in the nineties when Ripken would change his stance from AB to AB.

      • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Except it worked

      • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Not immediately. Sometimes not for quite a while. Ripken could struggle and flail like anyone else.

  99. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Desi went 8-13 in Colorado, but he goes 1-12 in Cincinnati.

    • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Both good parks to hit in. But CIN’s pitching is much better than COL’s.

      • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        We drew their three best.

    • TimDz - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      I’ll take the collective 9 for 25….

  100. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I don’t think FP was correct that Harper was back to his old stance there. They played Opening Day 2013 on Nats Classics last night. Harper’s stance when he hit those 2 homers was more crouched, and more coiled.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      I am an armchair batting coach, like everyone else, but it seems like the “pulling off” that gets him in trouble, more than this stance or that.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      FP is off his game. He is rolling with any type of bull that pops into his head. Yesterday on Bryce’s running took BS to a whole new level.

      I thought he was supposed to be an analyst.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        I know. I loved how he started going on and on about how Harper taking a pitch showed he was “on” the pitcher. Then he struck out.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        I don’t get it. He is better than that or at least I thought he was. When he makes up garbage as clear as the color of the sky, it’s a hit on his credibility. I hope he gets back to calling it fairly.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Doing those Fox games is going to his head. :-)

      • nats128 - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        FOX must have needed a guy on the bargain plan. Hes really only good pandering to the home team as most will eat that up when your winning with all that positivity stuff.

        When your losing, you need a guy like Rob Dibble to tell you everything that was done wrong after the fact. Dibble has never been wrong in hindsight.

        I always say it could be worse. You could get Mike Boreddick.

  101. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Hamilton 1-11 in the series. Great job by all of the pitchers keeping him in check.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      And didn’t he get picked off?

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Yes on a real good play by Gio to ALR to Desi.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Thought so.

  102. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    That’s staying with it, ian.

    • Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      And bringing his on target cannon!

  103. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    That play was even more impressive in slow motion. Wow Desi, just wow!

  104. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Boy, the BABIP gods have not been kind to the Nats this weekend.

    Laroche a couple of times yesterday and today, Ramos yesterday, Danny just now. Tip my cap to the Reds defense for yesterday, of course, but still….

  105. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Uh oh. If we are over 200 comments, WordPress must be going nuts again.

  106. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Who hit the shuffle button?

  107. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Spanning is now 90 feet from home to 1st. .344 OBP. That is in the range you want over that .340

  108. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    There needs to be a confirm button on reporting comments… Ipad users (like me) seemingly report someone 1 a day while scrolling thru comments…

    I think I messed up WP… If I did, my bad…

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      I agree about the need for a confirm button. I also have hit the report comment button many times on the iPad.I’ve also wondered if it had an effect on Word Press.

  109. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Span gets on 4 times today and his batting average goes down.

  110. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Schweet.

  111. texnat1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Great at bat by Rendon.

  112. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Rendon,s hit was 6″ off the plate – but his lean and that quick flick…amazing.

  113. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    kudos natsjack on russert

    Fister is a beast, let’s close this Soriano!

  114. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Come on guys. One more for “slam insurance”

  115. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    any news on trade front?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Hopefully soon. I bet everyone wants Giolito and Cole in trade talks and Rizzo says no.

  116. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    “@Nationals: WATCH: Anthony Rendon showed off his incredible range with this diving stop in the 6th: http://t.co/ve4FQG5vVD #Nats”

    Spectacular play. Best infield defense of the season.

    • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      why he was not on All Star team really irk me, this kid is special

  117. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    my daughter kicked me off the TV after 4-0 so I have to do game cast

    why is barrett pitching?

  118. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    What a pointless exercise that was.

  119. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    I can’t remember the last time that Soriano came in with 2 runners on base. Anybody have any Maalox?

  120. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    OK, Rafi, just pretend you put those runners on base yourself & finish it up.

  121. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    what is going on MW?/ why Barrett??

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      It wasn’t a save situation. Why not Storen?

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Why, indeed? I guess “the book” said so, and Matt is strictly “by the book.”

      • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Storen just pitched yesterday, and Clip had a long inning. Maybe he wants to keep Storen rested for Miami.

  122. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Aaron Barrett just earned a 34 day trip back to Syracuse. Look at this mess now.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      “Save” situation or not, why bring in the rookie to face their only really dangerous hitters?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        I agree. Thought Storen since no save situation.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        I thought Storen would be a good choice too. He was up earlier in the game I think. Why not use him?

  123. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Meatball.

  124. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Barrett had no business starting that inning

    • scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Another very odd MW decision

      • David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        If it’s 6-0 or something fine, but 4-0 in this park is like a save.

      • micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        exactly, I have no idea what MW’ mindset is, curious to hear what he says post game about it

  125. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    what the you know what!

  126. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Closest thing to an out pitch I’ve seen from Sori. I like it

  127. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    tying run still at the plate

  128. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    sori looks pretty good. We should be good for untuck

  129. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Whew

  130. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Lol…. I’m with FP too… Don’t scare me like that… Another series win…

  131. micksback1 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Thank you raffy!!!!

  132. stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Never in d-d-d-d-damn!

  133. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Glad FP busted Carp. That was an awful call on the last out shirt out. Good Win. Last time we will see Barrett this year in a 9th inning and within 7 runs.

  134. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Braves on soon. A loss there would make a great day!

  135. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Maybe Barrett back to Syracuse? He’s got stuff, but it’s not working.

  136. Joe Seamhead - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Man, I’m sure glad that Bob Carpenter isn’t calling the game on a radio broadcast. You’t think Soriano gave up a game tying homer just now on the fly ball to end the game.

  137. scmargenau - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Ray: it gives you goose bumps” re: fister

  138. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Untuck baby! Carp sure misjudged that flyball. Have confidence in Rafi, my man, come on! He said Harper was under it when it was Span’s all the way too.

  139. TimDz - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    GYFNG!
    (pass the bourbon and maalox, please)

  140. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Fister was just brilliant. I’m calling him the team’s #1 JZim #2 Roark #3 Gio #4 and Stras #5

    • mauimo22 - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Totally agree Ghost. Hopefully Matty will reset them in this fashion for the playoffs!
      I look forward to seeing us dismantle the Braves who are a real pretender of a team.
      We need swagger and smarts to beat them. Just relax and bring the Wood!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        Thanks. You only need 4 for the post-season. If I had to guess, it would be Gio to the bullpen or off the roster. Roark statistically is probably the #2 but you probably want to match him up as the #3 or #4.

        I don’t see Rizzo allowing Strasburg not to be on the roster but you’d almost want Stras lined up for a home start as his road splits are poor.

    • texnat1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Agree on Fister as the ace. That is borne out not only by this year, but his stats from the last couple of years, including the postseason.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Loyalty to your guys who have been here a while is one thing I think we recognize with Rizzo. I wonder how he handles Fister who has stepped up as the #1

  141. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    The “Fister” infield alignment of Rendon 3B Desi SS Espi 2B and ALR 1B is paying dividends. The infield defense today exhibited the best range I’ve seen ever for a Nats infield. Even LaRoche made a play where he went into the 3.5 hole.

    Nats pitchers and defense shut down Billy Hamilton to 1 hit in the series. Winning 2 out of 3 against the Reds 3 best pitchers on their home turf is impressive.

    2 running mistakes and 1 managerial mistake with Barrett trying to finish the game but other than that it was a fun game to watch. LaRoche as I said earlier with his most impressive hit in the month of July going oppo on a 2 RBI single. That should help ALR really get back on track.

    Nats 2-6 (.333) on RISP

    • David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Fister is now 8-0 with a 2 ERA with Lobaton catching, too.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        I know people don’t like P/C tandems but that’s amazing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Did I also mention that Span finally got over the magic .340 OBP mark?

      • rayvil01 - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        Fister is turning into one of Rizzo’s best moves. I know Mike tried to sign him to an extension during the winter. Bet he tries again this winter.

      • Another Tyler - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        The Fister/Lobaton is amazing. On some level it must be convenient for the team, too, because it might be an easy reason for a day off for Ramos. Not to take anything away from the other starters, but I don’t get that sick feeling in my stomach when Fister plays in front of the 2nd string.

  142. #4 - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    FWIW

    1. Putting Barrett in was the right move. You have to save your closer as much as possible over 162 games. Just 5 games ago Barrett had gotten a huge out v Colorado. You don’t want to use Storen two days in a row to close out a 4-0 game. The only other altenative may have been Blevins. Stammen had already warmed up and sat down down in the 7th.

    2. Harper right now is so screwed up at the plate, and it’s in his head. The swing he took at that curve ball in his 3rd AB was just painful to watch. You don’t often seen that from a LH batter v a RHP. I think he has two problems right now, both of which I thought he was addressing with his new stance. First of all when he bends his knees, he tends to uncoil out of stance which causes his head to move too much and also commits him too early to the ball. Second he is swinging too much with his shoulders and not enough with his hands. This is a common problem when a hitter is tight at the plate. One way to solve it is to lower the hands in the stance and draw them straight back into a lower launch position. This keeps the swing on plane and through the ball longer.

    One of the problems from listening to the broadcasts is that Rick Schu clearly seems to be teaching a more upright and relaxed stance. Each guy who has struggled has made that adjustment which allows the hands to swing more freely. Werth, Span, Lobaton are examples. If BH doesn’t feel comfortable with that but has a hitting coach trying to change him, that’s a recipe for failure. We’ll see how it plays out.

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      I agree that Barrett’s role should be in this type of game. Maybe it’s mental? He’s had not one, but several key outs, when he’s only been asked to get one out. I agree that you want to save Storen in case you need him for Miami, if one or both of Rafi/Clip have long innings.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Having reflected for a bit while crisping and rendering the duck confit (yum… redefines finger lickin good), I’ll reluctantly concede #1. I have no idea what to do about Harper… you can see the wheels spinning in his head every at bat, and that’s no place for a hitter to be. Normally you could send a guy down to Syracuse and let him pound the crap out of AAA pitching for a couple of weeks, but that ain’t happening. It would be a really difficult problem were we losing at the rate we’re winning.

  143. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    The Barves play an afternoon Monday game vs Padres then fly to LA for 3 against the Dodgers.

    With the schedule changing and the trade deadline, this NL East can change immensely. I was hoping Cishek would be traded so the Marlins bullpen would take a hit.

    • NatsLady - Jul 27, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      The Marlins are approaching .500. They may feel they have a shot at a WC. In theory, they have as much a shot as the Rays, and the Rays are adamant about not trading Price. However, if either team loses three before the deadline it could change, because it’s not only your record, it’s how many teams you have to climb over.

  144. scnatsfan - Jul 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    I have to think the only thing that keeps Barrett here is Rizzo can’t find another arm. If not I’m sure Treinen is packing light right now.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Barrett just isn’t as nasty as he was when he got his initial relief appearances. He was hungry and had something to prove. Now he seems comfortable to me. Sometimes they need to revisit the Minors to get that edge back.

      • scnatsfan - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        Agree. Let him get some fight back in him.

      • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:50 PM

        Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but he has mostly struggled since Joe West called the balk on him.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        Agree. Not the same since that Joe West balk call.

      • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        Definitely not as nasty. He should be paying attention to his craft, not doing silly, macho, I’m more patriotic than you staredowns with opposing players. As for the balk call, we can blame that on whoever didn’t fix his stretch motion in the minors. It was a balk call waiting to happen (and it is inarguably a balk to boot), and I’m glad he’s fixed it.

        I’d be happy to seem him replaced by a deadline pickup and rejoin the team in September.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:11 PM

        100% agree with you. While I enjoyed the staredown, I don’t think a struggling Rookie needs to be playing those games.

        It reminded me of Joel Hanrahan doing all that goofy stuff and just didn’t concentrate on his “nasty”. When Hanrahan got to Pittsburgh, he got the personality that all good relievers need and got the confidence to mow down the opponenets. When you’re on the mound, stone cold killer. I look for that. Barrett had it and lost it.

        Mound presence I think is recognized by the batters, both good and bad. Remember what the Cardinals said “smelling blood in the water”. They also smell assassin on the mound.

        Either Detwiler needs to be used along with Storen, Clip and Soriano or you need to bring back Treinen because Barrett is too inconsistent and Stammen needs to be the long-man and Blevins the LOOGY.

  145. Steady Eddie - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Don’t look now, but the Nats have the same record as the Tigers.

  146. Nats Amore - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Given that the criteria for an appearance to qualify as a save opportunity are basically arbitrary numbers some people invented, could someone explain why teams won’t use their closer unless it is technically a save situation? Is the save situation a state mind the closer is better prepared for, or something in the pitcher’s contract to maximize his stats, or what? Seems to me the manager should use the “sniff test” and just sense when it makes the most sense to use the closer. Not sure today was that time, but ironically the insurance run almost backfired by making it a non-save situation.

    • Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      It’s a good question. I think the main reason is that you can’t use any reliever every day. So you want to save your closer for games where he’s really needed. Today, with a four run lead, it made sense to give Sori the day off, with the idea that he would be available tomorrow and Tuesday. Now if he pitches tomorrow, he’ll likely be unavailable on Tuesday.

      For better or for worse, the three run lead (or four runs with two on) is a good proxy for games where someone other than your best reliever should be able to finish out the game. Honestly, I think Storen could have done that today. Using Barrett was taking a risk and it didn’t pay off. And that insurance run sure came in handy.

  147. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Great win, though I was rather nervous in the 9th! Was watching a bit of the ESPN game. Weird to see Peavy in a Gints uni.

    • stoatva - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      Also, the Giants gave Uggla one that more or less fits.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        3 errors in 3 games by Uggla.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        Oh my. I still Uggla has baseball left in him. It’s going to take the right situation.

  148. natsfan1a - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    And Word Press is wacky, but we already knew that.

  149. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Good, looks like WordPress is fixed.

  150. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Denard Span has improved by almost 10 points on UZR in a month. Suffice it to say it wasn’t accurate in the 1st place, but he’s at a -0.4 now and should improve to a positive number by season’s end.

    Look who is 2nd to last, Andrew McCutcheon and #21 is Mike Trout.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=400&type=1&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

    • Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      Thanks for the update, Ghost.

      At one point, when Kenny Rosenthal’s comments and the stats came out a while back, Span’s UZR miraculously improved by a ridiculous number in a few days.

      It was like my accountant had discovered and accounting error in my income tax, and I went from owing the IRS a bunch of money, to getting a bunch of money back. I have not seen anything in the last month with ol’ Den that I didn’t in the previous 10 months–going back to ’13.

      Who ever created UZR needs to go back to the drawing board.

      Best to call it by another name/acronym too, as UZR has made a fool out of all those who take it seriously.

      Trout at #21—–now that is totally funny! I fully expect that Vladimir Putin will soon be getting the Mother Theresa Award for human kindness and benevolent acts of humanity!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        Agreed and since nobody knows their data to go into the formula they made an adjustment or caught some mistakes. The matrix still doesn’t make since as it isn’t as if Trout and McCutcheon forgot how to play CF.

        Span since the trip in Pittsburgh has been one of the best CFs in the NL that I’ve seen. He’s been aggressive and taking charge.

  151. David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Latos sounds like a real…insert your preferred word for “jerk”…from his postgame quotes.

    • Doc - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      DP, where can we find Latos’ post-game comments? I’m curious.

      • David Proctor - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        He blames the umpire,but then says he’s not making excuses. He says he was giving our hitters “too much credit” and whines about giving up a hit “to a guy hitting .200.” His catcher says the pitches he was whining about were indeed balls. And regardless, you don’t say it even if that’s the case.

        Link: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/07/27/cincinnati-reds-washington-nationals-series-finale/13243589/

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        The way he jawed the home plate ump that ESPN aired will cost him in the future. Did Latos get screwed on the Werth pitches? Not a chance. The ump called it right and actually gave him the 0-2.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        If you look at Latos chart, he got a +4 strikes! Now maybe he’s used to getting the black but he missed pitches in that critical inning. Blue was a +3 for Fister.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        While my charts are awaiting moderator approval, here’s what I wrote:

        If you look at Latos chart, he got a +4 strikes! Now maybe he’s used to getting the black but he missed pitches in that critical inning. Blue was a +3 for

  152. Section 222 - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Good stuff Ghost, and DP. Thanks.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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