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Early rally sets the tone for an 11-0 rout

Aug 2, 2014, 11:58 PM EST

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By the fourth inning, the Nationals led by 11 runs, turning the Phillies pitching staff into mincemeat and allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief and just play out the string under no pressure.

But when Saturday night’s game was only two batters into the bottom of the first, when the outcome was still very much undecided, the manner in which the Nationals plated their first run of the evening seemed particularly significant.

Denard Span and Anthony Rendon combined to produce that run, with a little help from A.J. Burnett, setting the tone with a perfectly executed performance.

Span led things off with a single to right, extending his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 28, the longest current streak in the majors. Then he stole second off the slow-to-the-plate Burnett, putting himself in scoring position for Rendon. Who promptly drove a base hit through the right side of the infield, bringing Span home and giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

“I had a coach in the minor leagues who would always say: ‘Score first, and the percentages go up of you winning,'” Span said. “That’s definitely our job as the No. 1 and 2 hitters of the team.”

“It sets the table for the guys in the middle,” manager Matt Williams said. “Certainly it helps if [Span] has the ability to steal second base and get into scoring position with nobody out in the top of the first. It just puts pressure on the other club. Anthony stole a base, as well (later that inning). It set our offense in motion a little bit. To score one in the bottom of the first is good for us to get off the schneid, if you will, from last night.”

The Nationals’ top two hitters are doing more than their share right now to pace the Nationals lineup. Thanks to his month-long surge, Span is now hitting .291 with a .349 on-base percentage. With the season two-thirds of the way complete, he’s on pace to score 102 runs. Impressive as that sounds, it actually lags behind Rendon, who is now on pace to cross the plate a league-leading 116 times, while hitting .281 with an .807 OPS.

Of course, a few more overall showing like this, and others in the Nationals lineup will put themselves on pace for some monster numbers by season’s end as well.

All eight position players drove in at least one run by the fourth inning, and Jordan Zimmermann nearly joined them when he drilled a ball to the wall in right-center with two men on in the bottom of the third, only to be robbed by the Phillies’ Marlon Byrd.

The biggest blow came from Rendon, one inning after his well-placed RBI single to right. With two men on in the bottom of the second, he launched Burnett’s pitch into the Red Porch seats in left-center, snapping the Nationals’ streak of innings without a home run at 84 (longest in club history).

That made it 5-0, and that apparently infuriated Burnett to the point of no return. Having already gotten upset at plate umpire Chris Guccione for calling a borderline pitch outside earlier in the Rendon at-bat, the veteran right-hander admitted he purposely threw his next pitch to Jayson Werth for a ball so he could then yell at Guccione: “That was outside!” Guccione immediately ejected Burnett and later gave Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg the heave-ho as well.

The Nationals watched it all silently, simply waiting to continue their barrage at the plate, which they continued against the Phillies bullpen. They added another run in the third, then five more in the fourth off beleaguered right-hander Phillipe Aumont to open up a commanding lead.

Rendon doubled during that rally, leaving him 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a homer, one three-bagger away from the first cycle of his career.

“I heard a few people in the stands going: ‘Get the triple! Get the triple!'” he said. “I didn’t want to. That meant I’d have to run more. I’d stop at second base.”

Rendon never had the chance to make that decision. He grounded out in the fifth and flied out in the seventh, ending the night 3-for-5. Not that the Nationals needed any more offense up 11-0 on one of the more enjoyable nights of the season.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Span said. “We lost two tough ones the first two games of this series. It’s a lot of fun just scoring runs, because we hadn’t scored too many runs the previous two games. Just keep the line moving.”

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Freddy Gonzalez is just chewing up his pitchers. Kimbrel in for his 2nd inning of relief and 30+ pitches. 2 walks in the 12th

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Make that 35+ pitches and 3 walks in the 12th. Is Freddy waiting for his arm to fall off?

    • NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      Terrible. Look at Kimbrel’s face. I know he gets flushed but he looks purply-brown. How can Fredi leave him in like that? One game in August, it’s not worth it. And they still lost.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:28 AM

        Its not fair to Kimbrel or any other reliever who puts in that workload to shoulder that excess workload. Kimbrel should have been pulled after the leadoff walk.

        Freddy (Fredi) just proved that he can’t manage young arms. How many more will develop arm problems under his leadership?

      • rayvil01 - Aug 3, 2014 at 6:08 AM

        The constant chorus in Atlanta to fire both Fredi and Wren must be getting to them both.

        They sure have chewed up some pitchers! My goodness!

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Thank you Kimbrel! Padres win.

    Nats up 2 1/2

    • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:28 AM

      Yowza, and that’s after Braves got bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the 12th. Next guy hit into DP, and they ended up not scoring.

      As for Braves and Kimbrel . . . . well — yeah, I agree Ghost, what they heck was Freddy doing letting pitch a second inning here?

      And, hey, a note to all those Soriano haters (who ought to realize how it it is to save 100% of your games)

      A quick look, and I see this:

      Kimbrel: 45 appearances, he’s given up runs in 9 of them, he has 3 losses and four blown saves, ERA 2.05
      Soriano: 43 appearances, given up runs in 5 of them, 1 loss, two blown saves, ERA 1.91

      I think Kimbel is a great reliever, 4 time all star, yadda yadda yadda. I think Soriano has clearly been performing better than him this year.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:31 AM

        Soriano’s stats are blowing away Kimbrel’s right now if we must compare.

        Kimbrel did his HenRod imitation in the 12th. 3 walks and a Wild Pitch.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    Can’t believe the way Fredi managed that game. He must really be feeling the pressure, with the losing streak, plus know the Nats already won. Kimbrel was gassed. Yes, he could still throw 98 but he had lost his control.

    • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      Well put, NatsLady. I don’t know who else was in the ‘pen at the time, but it sure seems like Fredi panicked on that one leaving him in to throw nearly 40 pitches — and leaving him in after he’s already walked three — and, as you point out, still throwing 98. (Gee, think his arm will be tired tomorrow).

      Then he gives up a single to a guy hitting .218

      No need for Fredi to panic. Braves have a series with us coming up real soon. 2-1/2 back at the beginning of August is next-to-nothing. Gotta manage for the stretch. Burning Kimbrel out is not the way to do that. That seems like a rookie manager mistake . . . ‘xcept he ain’t a rookie.

  5. coop202 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    Got the blowout a day late… But paired with the braves loss, all in all a good day. Once again into the fray tomorrow

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:30 AM

      +1 and a long Barves game that they lost will take its toll.

      • NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:39 AM

        We meet them when they come off this nightmare road trip, right? They still have to go to Seattle. Of course, they have two off-days (Monday and Thursday), but that’s a lot of travel. And the Padres were the “worst” of the three teams.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:43 AM

        A shame they have rest days. If Nats can find a way to beat the Phoolies tomorrow…..

      • texnat1 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:50 AM

        Yeah, 2 rest days versus none for the Nats will help ease the effects of that road trip, unfortunately.

  6. dcwx61 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    what a raucous crowd at the game tonight. The most one sided win, i’ve seen in person. we had no idea what was going on with the AJ incident…the phillie fan next to me felt the ump added fuel to his fire, and that one philly pitcher departed with over a 17 ERA… And the most exihuberant wave I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of…’either everyone was drunk or just bubbly from a truely jubulent night in this great city..The best part was not having to ignore SWM’s wacky posts.

    • NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:40 AM

      For once, I didn’t mind the wave and even joined in. It seemed the right thing for an 11-0 game, I mean, what else are you going to do for five innings? Beautiful weather, and just a sprinkle of rain as I was walking home from the bus.

      • dcwx61 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:57 AM

        absolutely…a fun 36,541 crowd…
        refreshing to see the new guy providing some offense that has been so unusual for traditional Zimmerman fill-ins. Let it continue

    • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      The ump might havew been adding fuel. Hard to say from watching videos.

      But, clearly, this is what FP’s been talking about recently. You can say a lot of stuff to the ump, but when you visibly show him up, you get run our pretty quickly.

      For AJ to purposely throw a pitch outside, and then yell at the ump ” *THAT’s* outside” with some hand motions — that’ll get you thrown out by any ump.

      And, if you look at the video, you can read the ump’s lips — he said something all “all game he’s been showing me up”. (I had help reading lips from the Phillie announcers who were very good on this play — when Sandburg came out, they predicted he would get thrown out. The Phillie announcers never once intimated that the ejections were unfair. Now, if any of their fans could be even 10% as unbiased as those announcers were . . . )

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:49 AM

        Supposedly much went on between AJ and Guc between innings. It was brewing.

        Yes, he missed 2 strikes but he gave AJ 2 freebies. AJ must think that he’s owed more freebies. Sorry AJ, you screwed yourself.

      • dcwx61 - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        yeah..I didn’t say anything but noone in section 312 had a clue what was going on. Phillie fans can be rough, so better to let it go esp when we’re up 11-0.
        Actually, he was a pretty nice guy…ran into another guy at Wise Guys (my personal favorite late night pizza place on 3rd and Mass) who was with his phillie buddy. His phillie buddy had to leave after 5 innings….couldn’t stomach it.
        Personally,glad the Nats went for the kill out there. Need to go for the juggular

      • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:05 AM

        I can see that it’d be easy to have no clue what was going on, unless you were within earshot. I’d urge you to have a look at the video. Pretty entertaining.

        (And, as someone else noted: see, also, Werth just standing there as a spectator. He’s probably thinking: when your opponent is self-destructing all by himself, stay out of the way and let him finish the job)

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    The other guy Fredi Gonzalez has overused is his catcher Gattis. Not only did Gattis go 0-5, but he just looked stiff behind the plate. 2 Wild Pitches.

    If you remember back to the earlier Nats series, Fredi had him catch the entire series with a day game after a night game. A few days later he developed back issues and ended up on the DL.

    • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:48 AM

      Good points, both.

      This game should be a cautionary tale for those who: (a) criticize Soriano; and (b) gripe whenever Ramos sits.

      Ramos might not be tired in July when he sits. But by September it adds up . . .

      The stretch you are referring to, Ghost, was part of a streak where Gattis played in 17 of 18 Braves games, including starting nine in a row leading up to the DL stint.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:52 AM

        Thanks for looking it up. I didn’t realize it was that bad. I think if the Barves fans had that info they wouldn’t be too pleased. They are looking for someone to blame.

        Great points on Soriano and Ramos.

        I loved that MW rested Werth and Desi early today. Those extra rest innings are big during a long season.

      • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        I loved that MW rested Werth and Desi early today….

        Especially with a day game tomorrow . . .

    • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      Pitcher overuse

      It just occurred to me — I have this vague recollection (I’m too tired to look it up — I was up late last night hanging out in this neighborhood ;-) ), that the Oakland A’s (in the late 1970’s to 1980 or so) rode their five starting (4 of 5 were fairly young) pitchers very hard (Billy Martin was manager), and that within a very short time, many (most?) of them developed arm trouble.

      And Steve McCatty was one of those pitchers.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        Some have said Jim Leyland did that to Justin Verlander.

        I still think a big part of a Managers job is saving a player from himself.

        Fredi has failed at this time and time again. OFlaherty, Venters, Medlen and soon I ecpet Kimbrel to join the ranks of damaged arms of the Barves.

      • Candide - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        It’s not a “vague recollection.”

        Good article, with an apposite tie-in to the (then) controversy about shutting down Strasburg post-TJ surgery. Apposite because one of Martin’s burn-out cases was Steve McCatty.

  8. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    Now, the Dodgers are another story. They will not be easy to beat in the playoffs. I don’t see SF outpacing them the way both teams are looking right now.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:56 AM

      Absolutely. The Dodgers will be a tough opponent in the postseason. Who will be healthy.

      • adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:00 AM

        It sure seems to be shaking out at this point that LA and Nats are the two best teams in the NL.

        But, hey, I know: it’s only early August!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        I think your statement is a fair statement adcwonk backed up by the standings. I think “health” and waiver trades are 2 big factors heading to Sept 1st.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Monday was supposed to be a day off for the Nats and using that for a makeup game against the Os.

  10. adcwonk - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    On another topic: Cabrera seems to be in the middle of a hot streak. He’s really seeing the ball well and scorching it. (Yeah, he was an “o-fer” last night, but it was just bad BABIP)

    G’night, all!

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    And it’s started:

    “David O’Brien @DOBrienAJC ·
    #Braves Simmons declined to talk to reporters. Fredi G said “I’ll wear it” on Simmons bunt, didn’t elaborate, seemed to be covering for SS.”

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      David O’Brien @DOBrienAJC ·
      #Braves 3-for-16 with RISP tonight

      David O’Brien @DOBrienAJC ·
      #Braves Fredi G: “All we needed was one lousy run. It’s hard to get a lousy run sometimes, but we had plenty of opportunities to do it.”

      • NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:58 AM

        Well, geez, you could say that for any one-run game, of which we have had three in the last eight games. Anyway, you need two runs.

  12. thelatencn - Aug 3, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    This was our 59th win of the season. In 2008 and 2009, that was how many wins we had for the whole season.

    • NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      Those days seem so long ago… I remember them, I know they happened.

  13. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Diamondbacks at it again..

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      “The game takes care of itself” sounds ominous.

  14. Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Just read through a few Braves blogs. Wow! The hatred of BJ Upton is the worst that I’ve seen it yet. And Fredi Gonzalez isn’t exactly held up on any pedestals right now. Using Kimbrel for two innings was disastrous. And not just for last night’s game. He threw a ton of pitches. I’m with Ghost on this one. I know it’s the Braves, and it’s Kimbrel , but I still hate to great players get abused. I didn’t like the way Charlie Manuel did it to Doc Halliday either, but many managers just seem to take great pitchers, chew them up and spit them out when there’s nothing left. As to BJ, Upton, he’s leading the league in Ks, hitting .213 and playing an uninspired game in CF. That team is in serious trouble if they continue to march BJ out there at leadoff game after game. Tisk, tisk, what a shame, eh?

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      Edit: I still hate to see great players get abused.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      They are going to give into the pressure and probably go with Bonifacio at leadoff. Putting BJ at leadoff would be as stupid as the Nats doing it with Espinosa.

      Their fans want BJ DFA’d like Uggla but don’t expect that.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        I think Bonifacio might give them a short bounce up at leadoff, but I really do think his ship has sailed. He’s nat as fast as he once was, and speed was his major weapon.I doubt that he’d be a major improvement over BJ longterm.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        I hope you are right. I wanted the Nats to get Boni to block the Barves. Boni had a big April until he was injured.

        I think the Barves are in trouble.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        Edit:He’s not as fast as he once was.

        I think the Braves are understandably losing faith in BJ and picked up Emilio just for that reason. Though he’s only 29, and hitting for a good average this year, he is still not a great ballplayer, though he was a pain in the butt to the Nats when he was with Miami. There were days when I wondered why the Nats traded him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Boni is batting .403 against LHPs. Not too good against RHPs but .237 is better than Espi. He’s also played most of his games at CF this season and plays 2nd.

        I just think Rizzo needed to block the Barves.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

        I also don’t know where the Braves are going to play Bonifacio. Tommy LaStella has been fairly impressive at 2B and Simmons isn’t going to be sitting anytime soon. He may get an occasional game in the OF, but for who? I t also think that the Braves are in deep doo-doo, but the guy that they are missing most? Brian McCann. Gattis is not an everyday catcher for a winning team, not to mention they’re over-extending him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Bonifacio straight up for BJ in CF. Boni played 46 games this season for the Cubs in CF.

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        It’s not like Bonifacio is Ricky Henderson. His career OBP is only .322 and his career SLG is .344. Yes, he’s a better leadoff hitter than BJ, but almost anyone would be. Let the Braves have him and give up a good prospect.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Boni is still a big upgrade for them and doubt they will miss the player they gave up.

        The last can’t miss prospect the Barves gave up was Delgado. He’s been so bad the Diamondbacks put him in the bullpen and he seems to be part of Gibby’s designated beanballer. I think he’s been thrown out of 3 games so far.

        No matter what anyone thinks, that DBacks trade saved them. JUpton has been good for them and Chris Johnson had a huge year last year. Prado fizzled out for the DBacks.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        They are having a hard time justifying benching BJ’s salary. They’re already eating Uggla’s. You might be right. But bench BJ and there could be some serious locker room dynamics taking place. Also, Jason Heyward is not in great physical shape right now.Poor,poor Braves.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        When you start playing players due to salary as a primary consideration, you lose. In baseball, the money has already been spent. You play the best player.

        “But bench BJ and there could be some serious locker room dynamics taking place.”

        I doubt they would bench him long-term. He got bench short-term last year.

  15. Eric - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    GREAT win!!

    That’s crazy about Kimbrel. Sad, really.

    Makes me think all the strange BP use we’ve seen of late for our own team. I really think part of that was a willingness to give up a game or two to give overworked arms a rest.

  16. knoxvillenat - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Just saying…..

    “knoxvillenat – Aug 1, 2014 at 3:08 PM
    Ghost,

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say “an easy 3 game weekend set….”

    According to Baseball Reference, since 2012 the Padres are 9-8 against the Barves, 5-1 in San Diego. And while I realize that the Padres are a horrible hitting team this year, in that spacious park, with ATL’s frequent K’s anything can happen. And for good measure, the Barves are only 11-15 against the NL west this season.

    Just trying to be optimistic here when looking at the Padres chances this weekend.
    Reply Report comment
    Ghost of Steve M. – Aug 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM
    They are a shell of a team with their injuries and trades”

    Go Padres.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Good call, knox.
      BTW, I hope your buddy is having a nice long, [really long], vacation.I know that I’ll enjoy it.

      • knoxvillenat - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        Ditto.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        The other funny part is the Barves face a true Ace today as Tyson Ross goes on the mound for the Pads.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      It makes it all the funnier. Look at that roster. Led by Tommy Medica! On any given day.

  17. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    This will probably get new posted but what a great night!
    Perfect weather, not too many Phillie phans and they had absolutely no reason to cheer for anything.
    Up in 308 (which gets a good number of away team fans for some reason), they were leaving early and we made sure to say good-bye, in a pleasant fashion. Most responded nicely as well.

    Still not a fan of the wave but the 2nd time it was started, it was definitely the loudest we had heard. I do understand when its 11-0 that there is not much else left to do. At least it was being done while we were at bat.

    Loved reading all the comments this morning from those who stayed up for the Braves finish. I almost jumped on last night but wanted to wait until morning. Great points from Wonk on the comparison to Kimbrell/Soriano. Our guy is not quite there but he is surely no slouch and if you just look at numbers its a solid argument.

    One the days off for the Braves. It is one thing to have a day off at home where you can rest in your own bed with your own facilities to recover. It is another to rest on the road where you are still eating out, sleeping in a hotel and not really in your routine. I am guessing they will get home late from Seattle or they could spend that day off here. Another point in our favor is even one day back from a West Coast trip is not enough for your body to adjust to the 3 hour time difference. I had to deal with that whenever we had a big meet on the West Coast. I forget the technical term (circadian rhythms?) but you body needs time to adjust. Hate to bring up football but its something to think about when a west coast team travels to play a Sunday game early and visa versa).
    Either way, they face King Felix after the first day off and Strasburg after the second so I am not thinking its a huge advantage for them.

    Go Braves

    • Eric - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Go…Braves? ACK!!!

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      Yeah, Coach, what’s up with the “Go Braves” ending to your post?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Go Braves….down the toilet.

      • Eric - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Yeah, mayhaps it was ironic

    • sjm308 - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Absolutely ironic, sarcastic, you name it.
      Come on guys, I always end Go Nats!
      Thought I would get a chuckle

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Aw, we were just busting your “chops.”

  18. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    To get something merely worthwhile — not transformative — in a waiver deal you need to (A) overpay or (B) take on a lot of money, or (C) both. Anything else is a crap shoot, hoping you get someone who turns Cody Ross hot and not someone you have to toss overboard when setting the playoff roster.

    Looking at what has transpired to date, what the Nats “need” on their roster in the next 56 days, to close out the season, are (1) a consistent fourth or fifth starter and (2) somebody who hits like Harper was supposed to hit. They aren’t going to find those guys on the waiver wire. With 56 days to go they need Strasburg and Harper to play up to their (alleged) capabilities.

  19. Candide - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    I think I recall a fair amount of argument during spring training about where in the lineup Rendon should bat. Not to start another, “I said it first!” argument, but I know I was posting that he’d be batting second regularly well before the end of the season (I think I had Memorial Day or Independence Day as the no-later-than date). Wish I could see the stock market even half as clearly as I saw that.

    Is there some sort of metric to determine whether Span-Rendon is the most productive 1-2 leadoff in MLB?

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    The comments are hilarious

    E. Butler ‏@InMyEpinion 2h
    @DOBrienAJC With lack of leadership, is it time for a new skipper? Or new players? We are better than this. Offense shouldn’t be this bad.

    Alyssa A. ‏@alyssa247 2h
    @DOBrienAJC absolutely ridiculous..@braves should have at least a 3 game lead right now. Can’t get out of a wet paper bag

    Weather Boy ‏@gaweatherboy 2h
    @DOBrienAJC they will be done in 2 weeks then football starts and no one will care

    Michael Ross ‏@RossMichaelA 2h
    @DOBrienAJC is this not one of the more frustrating teams to cover in recent years?

    Manning ‏@AYDAN05MANNING 2h
    @DOBrienAJC fucking bums. Led by a piss poor manager, Gonzalez.

    John Houck ‏@Houckadoodledoo 2h
    .@DOBrienAJC Giving up runs on wild pitches is getting a bit tiresome… #Braves

    Ryan ‏@waitingfor_22 2h
    @DOBrienAJC #Braves Sorry I’m late. #firefredi

    Scott Kliesen ‏@skliesen 2h
    @DOBrienAJC this team has epic pendulum swings. Far too inconsistent to be legit WS contenders.

    Hines57 ‏@Hines571 1h
    @DOBrienAJC When their leadoff hitter leads league in K’s, #Braves chances of winning close games dwindle. #GeniusMove

    Robert Weaver ‏@rweaver2013 1h
    @DOBrienAJC Can’t beat good teams like Dodgers or even bad teams like Padres. Nats won 11-0 last night. It take Braves 2 weeks to score 11.

    Watson Jackson ‏@WatsonJackson89 1h
    @DOBrienAJC ATLs recrd agnst sub 500 teams is mind blowing, its normal to struggle with 1, but they struggle with all bad teams this year

    Shannon Eric Wilson ‏@wilson_shannon 39m
    @DOBrienAJC you think fredi will be fired?

    Eddie Smith ‏@eddie_smith 11m
    @DOBrienAJC Maybe they should forfeit the remaining road trip, come home, and take BP with someone standing on 2nd base.

    • nats128 - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      “Robert Weaver ‏@rweaver2013
      @DOBrienAJC Can’t beat good teams like Dodgers or even bad teams like Padres. Nats won 11-0 last night. It take Braves 2 weeks to score 11.”

      Thats a good one. They still dont have a fan as tough on there own team like Secretwasian.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        You must have missed @AYDAN05MANNING reponse to the tweeter. That’s worse than anything Secretwasian would put up.

      • nats128 - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Hah! Yah, his Tweet would have been written like this:

        @Secretwasian April 28, 2014
        @DOBrienAJC f**king bums. Led by a piss poor manager, Matt Williams. Fire them all. Season over.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    From Art Audley and the Washington Baseball Historical Society;

    On this day in Washington Baseball history:

    1971 – Jeff Burroughs receives credit for the game winning RBI in a 4-2 Sens win at Tiger Stadium. Denny McLain “improves” his record to 6-15 with the victory over his former team. The Senators tally 3 runs in the 9th inning, with former Nat 3B Aurelio Rodriguez‘s error on Burroughs’ ground ball being the turning point. Proving that McLain is already old news among Bengal fans, only 22,171 show up to watch the former 30 game winner.

  22. NatsLady - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    What is everyone still doing here? The season was over when the Nats blew that 6-run lead and got shut out the next game because they were so demoralized. Oh, wait, it was a nine-run lead…

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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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