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Instant analysis: Orioles 7, Nats 3

Aug 4, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Thanks to a rainout last month, the final chapter of this year’s Battle of the Beltways was bumped to tonight, a 1-game makeup to decide whether this would end up a 4-game split or a 3-1 series victory for the Orioles. By night’s end, this series had turned as orange as the masses of Baltimore fans who invaded Nationals Park.

What began as a pitchers’ duel, with Tanner Roark slightly outperforming Kevin Gausman, turned ugly late. The Orioles blasted Roark and relievers Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen for five runs on 10 hits in the seventh and eighth innings alone, taking a commanding lead in the process and making the Nationals pay for their earlier failure to take down Gausman when they had the chance.

So, the Battle of the Beltways goes to the Orioles, and the Nationals must now regroup against the Mets to close out their homestand before a huge weekend series in Atlanta, which now trails in the NL East by 3 games.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: The Nationals lineup had a chance to do to Gausman what the Orioles lineup did to Roark and the bullpen late. The Nats put 10 men on base in the game’s first six innings, but managed to push only three of them across the plate. Perhaps their best chance at a big inning came in the fourth, when Bryce Harper drew a leadoff walk and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single to right. Up stepped Wilson Ramos, who homered in his previous at-bat, with a chance to break things open. But Ramos wound up rapping a tailor-made double-play grounder to short. Harper did score, giving the Nationals a 3-1 lead for the moment, but the double play killed any chance of a big rally and ultimately came back to haunt this team.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: For six innings, Roark pitched much as we have come to expect him to pitch. He didn’t necessarily blow anybody away, but he got the job done, allowing only solo homers to Caleb Joseph and Nick Markakis. And with his pitch count at 84, he earned the right to take the mound for the seventh with the Nationals leading 3-2. But things quickly fell apart for the right-hander in the seventh. He allowed back-to-back doubles to J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty to begin the inning and tie the game, then later allowed an RBI single to pinch-hitter Delmon Young, leaving the Nationals trailing for the first time all night. Matt Williams came to get the ball from Roark, who certainly would have liked to close out his first calendar year in the big leagues on a better note. Even so, Roark in his first 365 days as a major leaguer still owns an 18-8 record and 2.54 ERA.

STREAK WATCH: Denard Span didn’t provide much drama tonight in his quest to reach base. He doubled to left-center in the bottom of the third, extending his streak to an even 30 games. That’s now tied for the second-longest streak in Nationals history (2005-present). Alfonso Soriano also did it in 2006. Ryan Zimmerman holds the club record with a 43-game streak in 2009.

KEY STAT: The 4-game Battle of the Beltways series drew a total of 143,299 fans. Average attendance at Nationals Park was 38,654. Average attendance at Camden Yards was 32,996.

UP NEXT: The Mets come to town for a 3-game series to wrap up the homestand. It’ll be Gio Gonzalez against Zack Wheeler in Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. opener.

  1. janebeard - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Matt shoulda pinch hit for Tanner and not sent him back out there at the end.

  2. #4 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    One more decent reliever… Please

    • scnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Trade rumors has us sniffing on crotts

      • stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        Ew.

      • scnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Cotts sorry maybe that’s less ewwwy

  3. manassasnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Why are Holiday and FP giving false info? We are not done with the AL.

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Yeah, not unless the M’s switched leagues.

      • scmargenau - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        Tell me u don’t want to throw a cream pie at Johny

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        They are both talking about how great Roark was, “only four hits.” Were they watching the same game I was listening to on the radio?

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Tough night… Definitely marked as one of Mw’s low-lights… Tanner wasn’t his best… Really hope that Desi gets it together…. Harper too…

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Kinda interesting that the ‘B’ BP was used… But I guess MW said to hell with it since the Nats didnt have the lead after the while….

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      The “B” bullpen is supposed to be able to keep it close. That’s their job. I would have used Blevins if you were going to play matchups, though. Would he have left Detwiler in if he’d gotten the lefty? I just didn’t see the plan here. It seems like he was surprised Roark hit a wall and was just throwing guys in there until one stuck, and that happened to be Blevins.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        B BP has given up a lot of runs… I mean Stammen’s slider was ineffective… Again… And Blevins, I think the results of the past 2 months speak for itself…

        I didn’t understand Det coming out for 1 batter earlier… When Blevins is the Loogy…

        So yeah we are in agreement but I still don’t understand why they were used… We are playing this game and playing for this win… Maybe he didnt value the inter league play as much as the NLE play and wanted to save them… I doubt we ever know…

  6. Danny - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Gotta love the Espi K cameo at the end.

    • scnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Just making sure to remind us he won’t change. Unlike Desi he at least went down wildly swinging as usual.

  7. David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    This game is on MW. Like I said in the other thread, I think he’s mostly done a good job. The team is in first place despite a lot going wrong. But he’s also going to make mistakes and he made one tonight. This wasn’t a case of him trying to get a pitcher a W, which he’s done before because Roark already was in line for the W. This was different. He just apparently didn’t see what we all saw, which is that Roark was not that great and was fortunate to be up after 6. It takes time and experience to learn when to pull a pitcher and even veterans screw it up. Davey did too. Remember Game 5?

    So we’ll just have to hope he learns and perhaps leans more on McCatty for help. We’re up by 3 so other than pride losing to that scumbag team from Baltimore, this loss is not a big deal. My bigger concern is with Stammen. Reports are that we’re still looking to add a reliever from the waiver wire (Neal Cotts name came up).

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      I completely disagree that he didnt want to not give his pitcher the win… As I believe he absolutely did… He has done this and said this before… Plus for the past 6 games or so, I don’t remember a starter not going 7, at least….

      But I will say, maybe he wanted to save the A BP for the big weekend series… As I certainly don’t understand him using the B BP….

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with, Mrs. B. Roark WOULD have gotten the win if he had come out of the game at the end of six inning (i.e., for a pinch hitter). He had the lead and he had pitched six innings. So there was no need for Roark to pitch the 7th inning to qualify for the win. Just for the bullpen to get nine outs.

      • David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        There was no advantage to leaving Roark in for the W. Roark was already in line for the W. It’s not like we were down or tied and he left him in to try and get the W, which he has done before. That’s what I meant.

      • scmargenau - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        That’s not what DP was saying….

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Gotcha DP… I read that wrong… My bad…

        We are in accordance then.. As I said before, I feel like he put the pitcher before the team, which he has done before… That causes me concern as this isn’t the first or second time… I just hope he learns this before October…

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      And please don’t say he didnt see what we all saw… That makes things IMMENSELY WORST…. That is the kind of stuff you and your staff are paid for….

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        And please don’t say Roark needs the “confidence” of his manager. If there is one thing he has, one thing he’s got from inside himself, it’s confidence. He’s weathered being traded, the minors, competition at spring training, having his starts skipped, etc. etc.

      • scmargenau - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        This makes me wonder if we don’t see more via tv and replays / pitch track then he does on sideline. Ala mike shanihan not seeing how hurt rg3 was when we all did

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Show me where I said anything about confidence…. Please…

      • scmargenau - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Cat fight! :-)

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        No, Mrs. B, you didn’t. But someone else said that to me on Twitter, sorry. I was just tired of the “excuses” for MW’s bad management tonight. Sori makes a bad pitch, it’s on him. Same here, Matty makes a bad decision, it’s on him. Need to hold him responsible and not make excuses for him.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        Lol, no cat fight… Just don’t accuse me of something I didnt do/say…

        I said Tanner was lucky tonight, back in the 2nd inning… I thought MW should have pinched hit (and for him to make the reference of Tanner almost getting the hit is kinda funny) for him… Didnt understand the BP management tonight..

        I mean this isn’t the first game that I’ve felt Mw’s managing lost.. I just hope he works out the kinks before October…

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        Ahhhh… Gotcha..l I mean I think this board knows, I’ve no issue calling MW out, I’ve done it a time or two… Or threw before, especially in his BP usage… Yes, that ‘confidence’ mess is pure shenanigans… It really is… And as I said below, he should have said I will take it on the chin instead of trying to say and Tanner almost had a hit… Just stop…

        But we are in complete agreement… :-)

      • scmargenau - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        U r both right. Great points.

        I’m so frustrated with MW and our big game performance.

        Ambien and bed. Tomorrow’s a new day.

  8. stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    I think this team badly needs a breath of fresh air, and Souza is the only candidate I see.

  9. Danny - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Unfortunately, we are kind of in 1st by default at this point. We need to take care of out business. Could have been 4 up.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Prefer to be in first than second.

  10. manassasnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    MW is crazy. Says bullpen has pitched a lot lately. That is not true, last 7 starts before this starter has gone 7. That is just BS. Followed saying Stammen is ineffective because starters go deep, Be consistent.

    • stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Matt’s goal seems to be to get through each post game presser without actually saying anything. To that extent he’s pretty successful.

    • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      I heard that. He can’t even get his stories straight!

      These are the hands they put this team in???

    • David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      Take nothing any manager says in the postgame seriously. MW said yesterday there was no roster move for Souza, for example. None of them say anything meaningful.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:37 PM

        I genuinely think he had no clue on that…. But tonight, I mean, I guess it’s too much for him to take it on the chin….

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      Yeah, that one I don’t understand…

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      Not watchng. Not in the mood for BS. MW knows (or should know) he screwed up. I wish he would just say, “It wasn’t my night. I made a decision, it didn’t work out, the boys deserved a shot to win. I’ll make a better decision next time.” That’s what we expect Soriano to say, and that’s what he does say.

      • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        I don’t know why he won’t admit he made a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. Why can’t he admit it?

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        Got me. He’s not on the hot seat. The team is in FIRST PLACE for crying out loud. Just say “I made a poor decision, in retrospect. Tomorrow is another day.” If Sori can say it, you can say it. If every player on the team and the manager costs the team a win that’s STILL a 130-win season. Just say you made a decision that didn’t work out and move on.

    • secretwasianman - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      MW in over his bald head. He has really cost us some games

  11. scnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    I wish MW had more Showalter in him

    • stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      [self censored]

    • scnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      And I hate Showalter but the guy can manage

      • stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        I agree. I was just going to make a joke that was probably going to get me kicked off the internet.

      • secretwasianman - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        couldn’t agree more. we are in first place despite MW.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      Seriously? That’s sad.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Seriously? Thats sad.

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Uh. No.

      I like winning, but not THAT much.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Not much to say but Nats are still in 1st Place.

  13. stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    You don’t have to be a genius to be a successful mlb manager as anyone can plainly see. But you do have to know your own mind, I think. Not seeing that from Williams.

  14. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Everyone is testy tonight…

    I hate to say it like this… Maybe this game wasn’t as important to MW since it wasn’t an NL/NLE game… And since we have this span of NL/NLE games coming up…

    I really don’t know…

    Bbt Span was spectacular… At least.

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Span was great. I hope he gets that Gold Glove, but did you see Lagares? Kid isn’t bad either.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        Yeah, I just saw the play…. Amazing how good/well Span has been playing lately… I was so glad he didnt get up with a limp after sliding and creating the little divet….

        Speaking of the Mets, I don’t think it will be as easy as some may think… Although I hope it is… I need to figure out what time I am getting to the game, as I NEED THAT GNOME!

    • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Baseball isn’t like other sports. There are no tiebreakers that involve NL East wins being “bigger” than other wins. MLB is the closest of all the major pro sports to having all wins being equal. Other sports have tiebreakers that involve division and conference/league wins being better. That’s not true with baseball.

      This win was just as important as a possible win against the Mets tomorrow.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        I disagree in the extent that games vs the mets and braves are ‘bigger’ than games vs the Angels or O’s…. And I think that MW was holding it closer for the division games since we are up 3 games in the NLE…

      • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        @Mrsb

        Then this is another thing that Matt Williams doesn’t understand. MLB doesn’t have “stratified” wins like the other sports. The NFL, for example, division games are far and way the most important. Next is conference wins. Wins from the other conference count for a team’s total wins but they’re not important for tiebreakers.

        That’s what’s important, making the playoffs and for the playoffs, a win against the Orioles is almost as valuable as a win against the Mets. If the Nationals and another team from the NL East both make the playoffs and they’re tied THEN wins against that team would have mattered. Other than that, if you’re tied for a playoff spot, you’re playing a play-in game, regardless of how your wins were arranged.

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        Games against the Mets mean no more than games against the O’s. Wins are wins. It’s a little different in games against Atlanta in that when we win they also lose, so that has the effect of a double swing, rather than depending on another team to beat them. So it’s more *efficient* to win against Atlanta, but in the long run, all wins are created equal (except in a very rare tiebreaker of a tiebreaker, which to my knowlege has never occurred).

  15. stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    The Mets offer a terrific opportunity to get healthy and happy in a hurry. Or, to stumble into Atlanta reeling.

  16. David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    I hope nobody is just chalking the Mets up as an easy series. They have a positive run differential and can really pitch. That DeGrom kid looks like the real deal and Wheeler/Niese ain’t bad either. Their bullpen is also much improved from early in the year when we beat up on them.

    We CAN beat them, but it won’t be an easy series.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Remember, I owe you a drink… I posted after you had…

    • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      If that’s the case, wouldn’t it have been better to do what was necessary to get this win? You know, the win that right in front of you?

      Frankly, we would have all been better off if Williams assumed we’d lose to the Mets. That would have increased the value of this win.

  17. rmoore446 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    I agree with David. The Mets are on the upswing and it will take an A effort to win the series. Best not be looking ahead to Atlanta.

  18. stoatva - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Don’t mind me, I’m just part if the furniture.

  19. adcwonk - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I don’t understand the idea that the loss is all on MW. What about all the guys left on base early on?

    • David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      You are correct. Werth swinging on 3-0, I like if he can do damage, but a sac fly in that spot is not ideal. But he’s so successful on 3-0, I give him a pass. Ramos double play killed a rally. Desmond was just awful all night.

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      Understood. But the turning point of the game was when MW didn’t pinch hit for Roark. The game got out of hand at that point, and yes, you can blame the hitters and you can blame the bullpen, but the fact is that Roark could have left with a 3-2 lead, and the bullpen with nine outs to get. Granted if you use Storen, Clip and Sori then the latter two may not be available tomorrow (and, of course, they may not be perfect). Granted you don’t want to get in the habit of starters only going six. But this is the situation you have them for.

      Now he’s in a fix. Because of the starters LEAST likely to go six innings, THAT’S the one (Gio) that you have going tomorrow, and Blevins/Stammen for sure are not available. Maybe Detwiler can go, and I expect Treinen can go. You needed to use Storen/Clip/Sori TONIGHT, with a lead. You may not have a lead tomorrow with Gio, and Gio might only go three inning and you need long-relief–sorry, Gio, my man, but you’ve been, er, inconsistent.

  20. Nats fool - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Has Treinan been called up or is he still in Syracuse? Why is he not in the bullpen? MW is actually getting worse as a manager. He manages like a player. He reminds me of Pete Rose. Rizzo may be forced to take more decisions out of his hands, but MW must still manage the game, which he has shown to be incapable of doing.

    • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      Treinen is up, he pitched an inning in the 11-0 game. As far as I know, he’s available, although he had been on a starter’s regimen so I don’t know what the exact plan is for him.

      • Nats fool - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        If Treinan is not going to be used, send him down.

      • NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        I expect he’ll be used if Gio blows up… which I hope doesn’t happen, I really do.

  21. manassasnatsfan - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    I expect an A effort every night.

  22. Smyrcok - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    No one here has mentioned the worst part about this game… Who else was in attendance? That was a rough one to see in person.

    • David Proctor - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      Charlie was quite blatant in his displeasure at the situation.

    • pchuck69 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      Tickets to these games need to be available only through season ticket plans.

    • nats128 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      I was there. Obnoxious Phoolie type of fans. No class. They act like theyve never seen a HR before. I stayed to the last out then took the Metro back. At the Metro station some dbag started chanting Lets Go Os. Ive had enough. Good night.

  23. secretwasianman - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I was at the game. too may Os fans. Once again the Nats prove they cant beat a good team. and once again MW proves he doesn’t know what he is doing. Not pinch hitting for Roark was terrible. this team isn’t good. Totally outclassed once again

    • dcwx61 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      you go to all the O’s games…Good for you

  24. NatsLady - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Suddenly the Dodgers don’t look as invincible as they did when they were sweeping the Barves. They lost 2/3 to the Cubbies and Greinke’s losing to the Angels (5-0 as I type). Don’t want to get overconfident, but maybe the Barves just aren’t that good.

  25. secretwasianman - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    Can we please get are butts in gear? Need to get 5 of next 6. Just tired of this mediocrity

    • dcwx61 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      The Os must win 6 out of 6,…classless bunch of loser with showoffer and a$$elos

  26. breakbad1 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    It seems like when it comes to the Nats, big crowd=poor performance. Over and over.

  27. nats128 - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    I just got home from that mess. Sickning. Those O fans are just as bad as Phoolies. Obnoxious. Im going to bed. Good night Natstown.

    • secretwasianman - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      Yeah they are awful those fans. Them and the Phil’s fans were voted 1. 2. In biggest fair weather fans.

      • nats128 - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:29 AM

        They must be close relatives of each other. Only way to describe them was obnoxious. They wanted to be heard and stand out.

  28. NatsLady - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    Part of me feels bad for Matty. It isn’t Rizzo’s job to critique the in-game management. I don’t know how much he listens to Cat, and I don’t see Randy Knorr taking an active part in decisions (he could be, I just don’t see it). Does Matty have an old-time buddy to have a drink with, a baseball lifer who’ll be honest with him? I learned a lot from watching Davey manage (until he checked out), but I don’t learn much from watching Kirk Gibson, and what I do learn is the rough equivalent of your mother washing your mouth out with soap for using bad words. Who is Matty’s mentor?

    • Andrew Wallace - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      For the record, we have the best run differential by a HANDFUL in the league. Most analysts attribute more importance to that than team record re quality of the team and as a projector of future success. I’d like to stop hearing things like this team “isn’t good” or is totally mediocre. Now if u want to argue that we could be better at winning close games or being clutch in high leverage situations, etc that’s one thing….but describing the nats as backing into a division lead is inaccurate. We have a Pythagorean record similar to the angels. Just need to polish up on the close game execution.

      • NatsLady - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:41 AM

        Agreed. I’m watching the Dodgers. You DON’T want their shortstop. Every team is flawed, even the A’s. If we meet the O’s in the WS, bear in mind that Matty will have managed us through the NLDS and the NLCS. He’ll have learned a thing or two.

  29. breakbad1 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    We’ve got to ask the tough questions of the Nats’ front office. Have we built a stronger team than Baltimore? In LF look at Cruz’s homers vs. Harper. Which of us would take Werth over Markakis in right? We all love Span, but who would choose him over the O’s CF? 1st–maybe a draw. 3rd–I choose Rendon over Machado but it might be more emotion than numbers. They outpitched us tonight. Showalter outmanaged Williams. They were near the tops in MLB in defense last year–and played better defense than us tonight.

    Their back-up catcher is certainly better than ours.

    It’s just sad that our FO let the team that did everything to kill baseball in Washington, build a better team than Washington.

    • Andrew Wallace - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:39 AM

      That’s ridiculous to say they built a better team than the nats. Our pitching staff both starters and bullpen is light years ahead of theirs. Their offense is better than ours but not by a crazy amount when ry Z is healthy. Ramos vs wieters is a wash but I’ll take a healthy Ramos. Chris Davis vs Laroche depends on the year obviously. Rendon vs schoop/Flaherty is a no contest for nats. Desmond vs hardy is comparable but at this stage of career Desmond has way more pop and more range. Machado vs healthy ry zim is probably close. Ry better on O but machado light years better on D. Harper vs Cruz this year is Cruz but last 2 years is Harper by far, Adam jones better than span, and Werth markakis is close all things considered maybe edge to markakis. but pitching is an absolute joke in our favor. No GM with a brain would think they have a superior team on paper.

      • NatsLady - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:43 AM

        That’s true. Most observers still think Toronto will overtake them, and Toronto’s got plenty of issues.

    • dcwx61 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      i love the o’s starters but who would pick any of them over ours.
      The Nats are in first place, son.

  30. Eric - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Hasn’t Roark had four 7-inning, 1-run outings in a row? I don’t see the big deal leaving him in for the 7th, especially with the fast hook when the game was still well within reach.

    We *need* our bullpen to keep us in games like that or we’ll be eaten alive when it matters. Better to fall flat while in first by 3.5 with your nearest opponent off than against your nearest opponent with first place on the line, let alone during the post season. I hope Stammen and Blevins get back on track soon or…something…

    Span killed it again. Ramos went yard. We’re three up and the Braves go up against one of the best tomorrow. Still feeling OK, despite the laugher at our expense.

  31. dcwx61 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    did you see how red Showoffer’s face was….he must be on the juice. And their fans are complete SWM (urban dictionary usage)

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