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Bullpen stuck in a suprising rut

Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

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The Nationals’ bullpen, as dominant a unit as there has been in baseball through much of the season, has suddenly and surprisingly fallen onto hard times.

And Thursday night’s performance in a 10-4 loss to the Phillies was only the latest example.

Asked to keep the game within striking distance after Gio Gonzalez lasted only 3 2/3 innings, the Nationals’ relief corps proceeded to give up five runs the rest of the way (two surrendered by Jerry Blevins, three by Craig Stammen in the eighth before a scoreless ninth).

Blevins’ struggles have become commonplace — over his last 13 2/3 innings, the left-hander has allowed 13 earned runs while putting 24 men on base — but Stammen’s off night was more surprising, considering the fact he hadn’t pitched at all in nine days.

“The issue with Stammer …  he hasn’t pitched in a while,” manager Matt Williams said. “So the first inning was a little rusty, I think. The second inning, he settled in fine. Blev just, he got the first lefty out, couldn’t get the second one. Then he had a couple lapses out there with guys on base that allowed them to get the guy to third base, then he gave up that run.”

Whatever the reason, Thursday’s performance was emblematic of a bullpen that has fallen into a collective funk for the first time all season.

Two weeks ago, Nationals relievers sported a combined 2.71 ERA, second-best in the majors. But over their last 12 games, they have given up 21 runs (18 earned) and 40 hits in 32 2/3 innings, seeing their season ERA rise to 2.95, now fourth-best in the league.

One potential issue: Overuse by the three back-end right-handers. Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen each needed days off this week to rest their arms, with Soriano getting back-to-back days following his blown save in Miami on Monday.

Five different Nationals relievers have appeared in at least 40 games so far this season: the aforementioned trio, plus Blevins and rookie Aaron Barrett. All five are on pace for at least 60 appearances by season’s end, with Blevins (70) and Clippard (73) headed for the most of the group.

“I don’t think they’re worn down,” Williams said. “I don’t think their innings are excessive or anything like that. I think it’s just one of those little ruts. You can get out of those ruts, too. As quickly as you can get in them, you can get out of them.”

Maybe so, but there’s a reason the Nationals were making inquiries to other clubs about potential relievers before Thursday’s trade deadline.

General manager Mike Rizzo wasn’t able to pull off any deals, but don’t be surprised if he continues the search into August, attempting to acquire a reliever who passes through waivers.

  1. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    “A couple of lapses”????? OK, I know you aren’t going to trash your pitcher, but sheesh, Jerry, get your head in the game. This is more than a couple of lapses, this is an on-going issue, and it’s been on-going for a month. When he’s used properly (i.e., to get lefties out, even with runners on base) he can be effective. But Williams keeps trying to get a full inning out of him, and invariably if there is RH hitter in the inning he’ll get a hit (maybe notinvariably>/i> but it sure seems like it). When a 5-3 game becomes 7-3 it’s discouraging. The Nats had a 20% chance of winning the game when Blevins entered. When he left, it was 8%. Not only that, but the boys had come back from 5-0 to 5-3 and he gave it right back. I don’t want to say the “fight went out of ‘em,” but it’s got to be frustrating.

    • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Oh, grrrr. If there isn’t going to be an EDIT funtion, could there at least be a PREVIEW function??

    • micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      they were still in it at 7-4, Stammen really was bad and that is when they quit

  2. micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    My concern is Stammen has been slammed really bad in 2 games out of his last 4. Blevins is just God terrible.

    I understand break downs, its ashamed it happen with 35,000 fans at game. I can do without memory lane of 2008 2009 teams, last night brought back those memories. desmond really makes me wonder how good he is. his at bats just stink of late a ta time that he should be getting into the next gear. I really thought his last at bat last night was on the lazy side

    • Smyrcok - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Desmond goes 5/5 then 4/5 against Colorado then disappears. Clutch hit the other day, but inconsistency is his story.

  3. karlkolchak - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Meanwhile, Fernando Abad is now sporting a crisp 1.87 ERA and 0.808 WHIP with Oakland.

    • micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Good for him, but, I really do not think Abad would have helped us. I never felt comfortable with him last season

      • karlkolchak - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        Are you “comfortable” with Blevins? I’m not.

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Nats need to make a roster move when Asdrubal is activated.

    I say Barrett to AAA but maybe they do the right thing and DFA Blevins.

    • micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      agree totally, good post. i bet they do just that

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        The guy with options is usually the move but lets see if Blevins gets a hangnail. Nats need lefty relievers.

    • pdowdy83 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Why would they need to make a roster move? Walters was on the active roster and on the 40 man. Treinen goes back to AAA and Cabrera takes Walters’ spot. Unless I am missing something.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        You’re assuming Treinen goes back. I’m not.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        It’s odd they brought Treinen up. He started in Syracuse and went 7 innings on the 27th. Would he have even been available on the 31st? Why not Cedeño with the Phillies’ lefty lineup?

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        @Ghost, you could be right, the more I think about it, because Stammen is not himself, and, as I said, Treinen wouldn’t have been available yesterday with only 3 days’ rest after his previous start. He wasn’t used, not even for the 9th. Instead, Stammen went 42 pitches.

    • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Which roster are you talking about? Walters left, Cabrera replaces him. That’s a one-for-one. If they want to keep Treinen up, then they have to make a more, but Treinen will probably go back down.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        OTOH, if Stammen is hurt, and if that’s the reason he didn’t pitch for nine days, then they would just DL Stammen and keep Treinen up. But maybe it was just matchups that meant the layoff for Stammen and then rust when he came back. If the latter, then I’m not happy with Williams’ managing. He needs to keep the relievers fresh but not tired.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Again, you assume Treinen going back is a no-brainer. I believe the front of the bullpen stinks (Stammen, Blevins and Barrett) and I’ve been saying this for over a month.

        Barrett is fixable I believe. Stammen is throwing BP and Blevins is just a LOOGY at best.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Well, then you need to say that, namely, they need to make a BULLPEN move, because that’s not what you specified. Also, if you could remove the phrases “As I said a month ago” and “As I’ve been saying for a month,” it would be a lot easier to read your posts. You said yesterday Rizzo would take Castro. I said no way is he taking on a project like Castro, he’ll take a veteran rental. Um…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Why do you post falsehoods NatsLady. I never said Rizzo would take Castro. I said he should and I laid out stats, salary and team control as to why he made sense.

        Asdrubal is a slight upgrade but change of scenery works wonders.

        Asdrubal is a 2 – 3 month rental.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        All right, I’ll rephrase it. You said Rizzo SHOULD take Castro. I said, Rizzo WON’T take Castro. OK, you happy now?I was correct in predicting what Rizzo would do, and I believe he made the correct decision. I’m done. It’s pointless to engage with you.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        Castro was a long-shot and so was Utley and Beltre.

        Castro was an excellent fit IF all chips lined up. Trades are complicated.

        I was asked by posters who should the Nats look at. I answered them. Rizzo went the low risk route with Asdrubal. It was better than doing nothing.

        I give my opinions upfront and stand by them. It’s easy doing it in hindsight. That’s the difference between me and you.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        EXCUSE ME (I’ll probably regret this), but what EXACTLY did I change in “hindsight”???? You said Rizzo should go with Castro. I said he shouldn’t, that this is the exception to his usual rule of trading with the long view. I said, we have a short term problem (Zim’s injury) not a long term need, and can’t afford to undertake a project like Castro with two months to go in a tight race. You said you disagreed. In fact, you even said you disagreed with Natslady BY NAME. (I’m not 222, so I’m not going to pull up the posts). I said, this is the case where Rizzo should go with the rental.

        That’s what Rizzo did. That’s what I said he should do, that’s what I said I thought he would do, and that’s what he did. That’s not hindsight, that’s fact.

        Now, Rizzo and I might both turn out to be wrong. And you could be right. BUT RIGHT NOW, Rizzo and I are in sync.

      • nattyboh1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        NatsLady is right, I like a lot of Ghost’s post but the whole quoting himself and “as I said before” crap is really annoying.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        You can cover your a** all you want with “trades are complicated” and “Rizzo went the low-risk route.” The fact of the matter I felt Castro would be the wrong decision in the situation we are in–namely, needing a veteran guy who can slide right in and hopefully not make the kind (and volume) of mistakes Castro makes at this point in his career.

        Yes, I was hoping for Beltre. But the Rangers aren’t playing the trade game this year. I never thought there was any chance for Utley so never mentioned him. I only know Cabrera from injury reporting (he’s had some back problems) but he clearly fits the model I stated would be the best choice in our situation, namely, a veteran “rental.”

        Moreover, I was in the process of looking into your remark about Treinen not being sent down, which is interesting, and could be on point–when you started insulting people who thought you meant they wouldn’t need a roster move for Cabrera because Walters was already on the roster. You aren’t always correct, and you aren’t always clear in what your line of thought is when you post–like all of us here. And to expect me to remember word-for-word how you phrased your case is ridiculous.

      • Smyrcok - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        There’s an old country song called “how can I miss you if you won’t go away?”. I always get a kick out of Ghost saying “if you remember what I said a month ago…”. Of course we remember. How can we forget when every post is a reminder and a quote of his?

        But he gets Christmas cards from Billy Beane or what ever so don’t disagree with him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        If RZim comes back then this might work out but if he doesn’t than the simple fix won’t.

        Asdrubal is marginally better than Espi.

        Castro on the other hand has had a career OPS of over .900 playing in NL East parks. He’s cost controlled and team controlled but the chance of landing his wasn’t high.

        The fact I said SHOULD doesn’t mean WOULD.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Did Mike Rizzo do what you thought he should do? Yes or No.
        Did Mike Rizzo do what I thought he should do? Yes or No.

  5. micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    I keep reading posts about players ages and that they get better as they get older in there 20’s, especially when it comes to Stras and Bryce. OK, let’s accept that a face value. Now, explain why that does not hold true with Gio. He clearly has regressed with age, seems less mature as each season goes by. So, I am not buying this age garbage any more, when it comes with Stras or anyone else

    • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Because there’s a difference between a general trend and a universally applicable rule?

      • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Also, Gio has not “clearly regressed with age.” He was better at 24 than age 23, better at age 25 than age 24, and better at age 26 than age 25. A better description would be that he peaked a year or two earlier than average, at least based on his career to date.

    • David Proctor - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Data is not the plural of anecdote

      • ArVAFan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Yeah, and wisdom is not the sum of experience, either.

        As has been noted here.

  6. micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Ghost

    Nats may not get that lefty until Sept.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Have to do it by Aug 31 for new players or else they aren’t eligible for postseason rosters.

  7. coop202 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    On the plus side the dodgers spotted us 3 games on the braves during this slide. Would’ve been nice to seperation but I can live with staying ahead. Would love to see Werth and Bryce go yard early today and ignite one of those “I just wish we could spread these runs out over a few other games” type nights.

    • coop202 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Anything other than a 0-0 or 6-0 lead early

  8. tcostant - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Maybe the pen all partied to hard at the All-Star break? Hard to blame over use when you just had a four day break, that is what is different from the usual.

  9. langleyclub - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Wonder if the Nats are considering flip-flopping Blevins’ and Detwiler’s roles. Detwiler has been the more reliable reliever for the last month. Bringing up LHP Xavier Cedeno from Syracuse is also an option.

    • scnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      You can’t Blevins is getting pounded by righties. Right now, as is, he is good for mop up only.

  10. natsguy - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I have noticed for the last two years that Gio, Strasburg, and JZIM all seem to lose focus around the 4th inning. Are they losing focus or are they readable after the 1st time through. Are their pitches being tipped?

    • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      In 2014 Stephen Strasburg’s ERA in innings 1-3 is 3.52, his ERA in innings 4-6 is 3.14
      Strasburg 2013: 3.49 in innings 1-3, 2.75 in innings 4-6.

      Gio in 2014: 4.94 ERA in innings 1-3, 3.20 in innings 4-6.

      I’m too lazy to keep going.

  11. micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Bowden, FYI on Gio

    Runs allowed per 9 innings (RA9) in 2012: 3.12
    2013: 3.63
    2014: 3.98

    so clearly, a regression

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Where was the curveball last night?

      • ArVAFan - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        Obviously where the Phillies could hit it!

        PS No love for Barrett? He got his 3 outs last night (OK, he had to get 4 due to fielding hiccups, but he got the job done). Maybe he dioesn’t need to go back to Syracuse to get his new motion down. Blevins, on the other hand . . (oops, that pun wasn’t intended).

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Low stress inning for Barrett. His stuff is too good to struggle like he had. He needs to regain focus.

    • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Correct. A regression after age 26.

      Everyone regresses with age eventually. Your argument was that we shouldn’t assume Gio and Strasburg will improve because of Gio, which was a bad argument because (1) every player is different, the assumptions are based on averages and not single examples, and (2) Gio did not start regressing until age 27- Harper is 21 and Strasburg just turned 26.

      • 6ID20 - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Strasburg hasn’t won 20 yet, so he will need to improve before he can start regressing like Gio.

      • Section 222 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        You are bringing it today bb. First wins, now this. I tip my cap to you.

      • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        I believe you meant to say that he’s grinding today.

  12. #4 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Please add “losing focus” and its derivatives to the list of terms that need to be jettisoned. Baseball is hard and players sometimes do not perform well. 95% of the time it has nothing to do with a lack of effort or focus.

    Bullpens like hitting and fielding go through bad periods in a 162 game season. The only guy here with a proven record that is struggling a bit is Stammen. He’ll get straightened out. I’ve never been overwhelmed with Blevins’ stuff or command. Barrett has had a checkered career in which he overcame Steve Blass disease. I give him a lot of credit for that but you still have to wonder about his ability to perform in high-leverage situations. The Nats should certainly be on the look-out for another arm to help – preferably LH

    • scnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      But I do think some players handle adversity – a hit against, a error, a ump missing a pitch – better then others, causing them to ‘lose focus’.

      • #4 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        I will grant you that. I guess what irks me is the implication that the player’s mind simply wanders or that he doesn’t care.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        It seems to me Gio “lost focus” with the long wait and seeing his fellow lefty go down. His fielders didn’t help him. So this might have been the correct use of the term.

        He started to recover toward the end of the inning, but by then his pitch count was up (30 stressful pitches in the inning) and 77 overall. Even if he’d gotten out of the inning, he would have been at 80 through four innings.

      • #4 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        I guess I would only say that generally “losing focus” focus for a pitcher can be better attributed to mechanics that are hard to repeat – not some mental shortcoming.

      • Section 222 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Gio was upset by Lee’s injury, but it might not have bothered him as much if Lee were a righty? Now that’s a novel theory.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Well, maybe not specifically because Lee is a lefty. But I was at the game. It was a longer than usual delay, because the injury was sudden and Sandberg was stunned. It took Sandberg a while to decide on Bastardo and a pinch hitter. Bastardo was nowhere to be seen, and probably had to be called to the bullpen from the clubhouse or wherever. In the meantime Lee is motioning to his (left) arm, cursing, and looking totally bummed. It would be difficult in Gio’s shoes not to be affected by that. And he wasn’t doing that great beforehand, already having given up some hits.

      • natsguy - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        I have played baseball up to NCAA level and players do “lose focus”. Usually due to boredom, or ADD, or whatever. Its a game played by people and people “lose focus”. I do.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      That have a potentially decent LH BP arm who’s been rotting away at Syracuse despite a 12.1 K/9 ratio and a sub 3.00 ERA.

      FREE THE X-MAN!

  13. laddieblahblah - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Last night was, truly, a horrible performance, but it was also, clearly, an outlier. If you didn’t know better you would have thought that the Nats were the last place team and that it was the Phils who were in first place.

    And they have lost 3 of their last 5, but were in all of those games until the end, until last night’s debacle. I think we should wait until they have, at least, two in a row, like last night, before going overboard on the negativity.

    • adcwonk - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Speaking of negativity — I wonder what those Braves fans are thinking . . . Nats lose 3 of the last 4, and Braves gain no ground at all.

      Did I mention they have four more with the Dodgers on Aug 11? ;-)

  14. David Proctor - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Gio is still a quality pitcher on a very team-friendly contract. Is he the guy we saw in 2012? No, but that was a career year. He’ll be just fine. I’m still not convinced he’s healthy, despite he and MW insisting he is. He is constantly looking uncomfortable out there, shaking his arm/stretching his shoulder, and that hasn’t been the case in the past.

    • Smyrcok - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      David, you’ve been saying that for a while and I’ve been seeing those same signs. How normal is it to shake your arm/shoulder out between most of your pitches? Seems weird that he was having that much trouble spotting his fastball since his return from the DL.

      And yeah even if he regressed he’s still very valuable because of his contract, even if you have to bump him down to your #4 or 5, not that rotation postion really matters anyways.

      • NatsLady - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        I also wonder about Gio’s shoulder. But JZimm also has that “shaking” habit. So I’m not sure how much to take from body language. Also, it’s funny to me that folks will say a lot of the game is “mental,” but the minute you say, “oh, he lost focus because stuff happened,” then you say, well, that can’t (or didn’t) happen. I am on the side of attributing the vast majority of issues to physical problems that prevent a pitcher from finding or repeating his mechanics. But stuff happens. Guys are tired, distracted, whatever. I’m willing to speculate, I’m willing to accept “losing focus” as an explanation–but I also feel that it’s a poor reason/excuse for a major-league player. I get yelled at by my manager if I’m not totally focused on every student every moment (and I admit, I’m not). Parents expect that of me and they complain if they don’t get my best effort… and, trust me, I’m not paid like a major-league ballplayer.

      • Section 222 - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        NL, I agree with you that losing focus is a very poor excuse for a major league ballplayer. He’s getting paid millions of dollars a year and he can’t maintain his focus for a few hours every five days? For that reason, I tend not to believe theories for poor performance that rely on pop psychology. A rain delay, maybe? But a long inning because of an injury? I seriously doubt that, especially because, as you said, he wasn’t pitching that well before Lee went down.

  15. jd - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Off topic,

    Giolito threw another Gem last night (6 shutout innings). He’s at 83 innings and I read that he will be shut down at around 100 so I’m thinking perhaps they could move him up 1 level for hos last 3-4 games?

    • David Proctor - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      He had some interesting quotes after the game where he said he’s had discussions with people in the organization about moving up, but he likes the relationship with the manager/pitching coach at Hagerstown and feels he needs to improve his fastball command before going up. Still, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets a taste of Potomac at some point this year.

    • micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      I really like this kid and have from the start, I think he is going to have a greater impact for the Nats franchise than Stras

  16. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Gonzalez was fine thru two innings. Curveball was deadly, motion was relaxed, he was working quickly. Then he starts getting hit like — and his head starts swiveling like — a tetherball. His defense was not much help but he gave up three runs on his own and probably couldn’t have passed an on-field sobriety test. “How many fingers am I holding up, Mr. Gonzalez?” (Not suggesting he was drunk, only disoriented.) Regression? “Pink Cream” withdrawal? Who knows? Team now 5-5 in the last ten games I think, when they had a chance to finish the road trip 7-2 and then line up against worst team in the division. Fortunately Fister is up but how often is he going to have to be the stopper?

    In the immortal words of Pogo (Walt Kelly), “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    • adcwonk - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      The thing is — the first two hits in the third were seeing eye singles in the 5.5 hole (Gio was visibly upset after the first one). Just bad BABIP.

      But, then the third guy . . . . :-(

      But I can see someone losing concentration after that. He might be thinking “damn, what do I have to do here” and end up just “throwing” to the next guy, instead of remaining calm just “pitching” to the next guy.

      Remember when Strasburg hit some guy in the head with a fastball a few years back? Strasburg clearly couldn’t concentrate after that. That’s an extreme example, but, an example nonetheless.

      I think the strength of some pitchers is that they are able to remain calm when all hell is breaking lose around them, and the ability to completely forget what the prior batter just did. Not all can do that all the time.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        That describes the outing well. He’s not the first pitcher to be BABIP’d. Work around it. He got the #7 hitter in a lefty (Grady Sizemore) and went nibbling and went to a 3 ball count which was his unraveling as Sizemore barrelled up a low pitch.

        Gio has to trust his stuff and stop the mental gyrations. It’s getting old.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Spot on, Ghost.

      • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        It’s “getting old” because he hasn’t had a good season. In 2012 when he was a Cy Young candidate the EXACT SAME demeanor on the mound was called “fiery” and “competitive”

        This is who Gio is. It allowed him to buck enormous odds to reach the major league level, and even more enormous odds to become one of the best 50 pitchers in the game once he got there. He’s not going to become a different person because finicky Nats fans can’t deal with the normal ups and downs of a major league career. After all it’s not like he’s had a huge dropoff like Matt Cain or Justin Verlander or something. He’s just having a season that hasn’t met expectations.

  17. senatorssurvivor - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Blevins has been an expensive mistake. Hope Blake T is as good out of the pen as he is as a starter.

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