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Game 112: Mets at Nationals

Aug 6, 2014, 3:21 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

There’s nobody the Nationals would rather have on the mound right now after a loss than Doug Fister, who has developed into something of their stopper over the course of this season. The big right-hander is 6-2 when starting a game following a Nationals loss, so he’s the right man for the job tonight as the Nats try to shake the cobwebs of their 6-1 loss to the Mets.

Fister will be opposed by left-hander Jonathon Niese, which prompts Matt Williams to give Danny Espinosa the start at second base in place of Asdrubal Cabrera. Otherwise, the lineup is standard, with Jose Lobaton still filling in behind the plate while Wilson Ramos takes paternity leave.

The Nationals will have a new arm available in the bullpen tonight with the arrival of Matt Thornton. The veteran, claimed off waivers from the Yankees, will become one of three lefties in the pen, along with Ross Detwiler and Jerry Blevins. To make room for Thornton on the roster, Blake Treinen was optioned back to Class AAA Syracuse.

Updates to come, so please check back…

NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Chance of showers, 83 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (60-51)
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

METS (54-59)
RF Curtis Granderson
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Lucas Duda
C Travis d’Arnaud
LF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
CF Juan Lagares
SS Ruben Tejada
LHP Jonathon Niese

UMPIRES
HP Larry Vanover (cc)
1B Vic Carapazza
2B Dan Iassogna
3B Paul Nauert

7:06 p.m. — And we’re underway. Not nearly as many fans in the stands tonight as there were for the Orioles game Monday or the Jayson Werth Gnome giveaway last night.

7:10 p.m. — Doug Fister couldn’t have drawn up his top of the first any better. He retired the side on 9 pitches, 7 of them strikes, getting Curtis Granderson to fly out to shallow right field, Daniel Murphy to ground out to second and David Wright looking at strike three. Nicely done.

7:22 p.m. — Speaking of drawing things up perfectly … how about the Nats in the bottom of the first? They scored three quick runs off Jonathon Niese thanks to Anthony Rendon’s 30th double, Jayson Werth’s 63rd RBI (a bloop single, with Rendon getting a great read and taking off from second right on contact) and Adam LaRoche’s 14th home run (only his second off a lefty this season). LaRoche’s 2-run bomb struck the facade of the second deck in right-center, a legitimate poke for a guy who appears to be getting hot again. After a .159/.238/.227 July, LaRoche has now reached base in 11-of-22 plate appearances in August. It’s 3-0 Nats after one.

7:33 p.m. — Nothing happening for either team in the second inning. Fister got a double-play ball, with a nice turn from Rendon and Espinosa. Niese settled down and retired the bottom of the Nats’ lineup in order. Still 3-0 heading to the second.

7:49 p.m. — Once again, Denard Span has no sense of drama. He singled to left in the bottom of the third, extending his streak to 32 games reaching base safely. He keeps getting this done early in games. Still 3-0 after three.

8:06 p.m. — Bryce Harper drills a base hit to center in the bottom of the fourth, the best contact he’s had in several days. So everybody can calm down now. At least until his next at-bat. To the fifth, still 3-0 Nats.

8:13 p.m. — Fister, meanwhile, just continues to roll. He’s through five scoreless innings on 65 pitches. He’s scattered three singles and hasn’t walked a batter.

8:33 p.m. — On the couple of occasions Fister has looked human tonight, Rendon and Espinosa have done their part to keep the shutout intact with a pair of nifty 5-4-3 double plays. They just turned another with two on and David Wright at the plate in the sixth. So we move to the bottom of the inning, the Nats have led 3-0 since the first.

8:44 p.m. — For all the grief he’s getting, Harper does own a .380 on-base percentage since the All-Star break, thanks to a single and a walk tonight. So he’s not completely lost up there. You know who else isn’t completely lost, at least from the right side of the plate? Danny Espinosa. He just belted a 3-run homer to left. For the season, Espinosa is now hitting .310 with a .383 OBP, .524 slugging percentage and .907 OPS against left-handers. That’s pretty, pretty good. It’s 6-0 Nats after six.

9:02 p.m. — Oh man, Steven Souza Jr. (who replaced Jayson Werth in right field for the top of the seventh) just missed his first career homer by a couple of feet. And what a homer it would’ve been. The ball bounced onto the concourse behind the left-field bleachers. That was a bomb, even if just foul. To the eighth, Fister remains on the mound at 91 pitches, and there is no action whatsoever in the bullpen.

9:19 p.m. — Fister won’t go the distance tonight. He was pulled with two on and one out in the eighth, but that gave us our first look at newcomer Matt Thornton. And there was plenty to like about him. The veteran lefty retired 2 of 3 batters faced, giving up a dribbler of an RBI single to Murphy. He fired several 97 mph fastballs in there. I’m trying to remember other Nats left-handers who have done that over the last decade. I’m not coming up with many, if any. It’s 6-1 Nats heading to the bottom of the eighth.

9:28 p.m. — LaRoche with another homer, his second of the night. It’s 7-1 as Ross Detwiler enters for the ninth.

9:37 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 7-1. Fister improves to 11-3 with a 2.49 ERA. And the Nats open up a 4-game lead in the NL East. Which means they are assured of leaving Turner Field on Sunday night in first place, no matter the result of that series.

250 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. unterp - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    let’s go Nats…

  2. letswin3 - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Production from the top 2/3 of the order will be needed tonight. Didn’t really expect to see 3 lefties in the pen this year.

    • chaz11963 - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Didn’t they have 3 lefties in the BP in 2012? I think the problem in the current BP will be 1 of the lefties is a career loogy and another has evolved into a loogy this season- very limted usage for 2 out of 7 RPs.

      • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        Gorzelanny, Burnett & M Gonzalez?

  3. bowdenball - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Before anyone complains about Espinosa, here are his numbers against left-handed pitching this season: .305/.385/.494. An .879 OPS would rank first on the Nationals by over 70 points and would be seventh among qualified players in the National League. It’s not really a small sample size fluke either, his career OPS against lefties is .804.

    Not only should Espinosa start every Nats game against a left-handed starter, you could make a legitimate argument that he should be in the heart of the order.

    • chaz11963 - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Totally agree

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Me too. I really hope he didn’t start the last game against a lefthander simply because he was hurting.

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Espinosa is absolutely the right call for this game. I wouldn’t mind seeing Werth get off his bum ankle, but maybe tomorrow.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        After last night with Asdrubal and Espi batting RH, absolutely.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      No to heart of the order because of the stress factor but absolutely should start against LHPs. His RH swing is nice.

    • philipd763 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      This begs the question….why does he continue to bat from the left side of the plate?

  4. section105a - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Going back to last night’s game for a moment, it seemed to me defensive positioning played a huge role in the outcome. The Mets outfield, in general, played about 20-30 feet shallower than the Nats. So Juan Lagares was in good position to make his spectacular catch on Span, whereas Werth and Harper could not make plays on two very catchable popups that became 2-out rbi singles. Sitting where I am, I constantly notice Harper playing a very deep left field. Especially against a lineup like the Mets have, shouldn’t our outfield be shallower?

    • David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      Harper plays deep because he isn’t good at going back on balls. Werth actually plays pretty shallow most of the time/

  5. natsfan1a - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Go, NATS, beat the Mets!

  6. chapjim - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Is the Yankees’ bullpen so good that they can just release a lefthander with a 2.55 ERA for the season?

    • Doc - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      I was wondering the same thing.

      The Yanks, of course, don’t fret a lot about the few millions that they were paying Thornton.

    • chaz11963 - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      He’s just a lefty specialist, very limited usage.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Bo surprise as I said it would most likely be Treinen but the right move wouldve been Stammen to the DL

    “@ZuckermanCSN: #Nats option RHP Blake Treinen to AAA to make room for LHP Matt Thornton, who is here and active for tonight’s game vs. #Mets.”

    • chaz11963 - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Really needed to keep Treinen. Hopefully they will use Det more instead of Stammen.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        Did you notice Treinen’s fastball velo was down 3.2 mph on average vs his last outing.

      • nats128 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Could it be that Stammen says hes not hurt and you would have to DFA him as he wouldnt go on the DL.

  8. Doc - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    So MW why’s our pheenom Souza not in there against a lefty?????

    Wad ya waitin’ for Christmas?????

    • natsjackinfl - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      If this means Souza tomorrow, it’s going to be tough because more than likely, Sandy Leon will probably be in the lineup as well.

      • nats128 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Cant see MW doing that as you said Leon is probably playing unless the Buffalo comes back early.

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Would it really hurt Lobaton to play again tomorrow? I know it’s a day game, but Ramos is supposed to be back Friday. I know the old “no day game after a night game for a catcher” thing, but when it’s your no. 2 catcher, and he’s going to have the next two days off, that seems excessively cautious.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Yep — I’d have put in Souza for Harper today.

    • mauimo22 - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      I’d love to see Souza and Harper platoon and see who puts up the better numbers on offense. As far as I’m concerned Harper has not earned the right to be an every day player this year. Too many poor ABs and too many Ks and not able to make contact for Sac Fly RBIs. Sounds like Espi laster year.
      Take a seat Bryce.

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        I disagree. But I think while Harper is scuffling, that Souza should play against lefties from time to time.

  9. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Off topic, but somewhat amusing to this baseball fan: I went to the Northwest League (short season A ball) All Star game last night. Prior to the start, they announced that league rules would limit the game to 10 innings. And, sure enough, the game ended in a tie after 10 innings. A 0-0 tie. The South team collected four hits, the North team five. So to whom do they give the MVP award? One of the several pitchers who recorded perfect innings? The North center fielder who made at least three excellent plays to keep South runners off the base paths? Either of the two participants (SS and C) who nailed a North runner at the plate to stop the game’s one legitimate scoring chance? Of course not. They gave it to the only player who collected two hits — both doubles, but both essentially meaningless. Go figure.

  10. chaz11963 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Mariners with a 1-0 lead bottom of the 2nd.

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Totally pulling for Chris Young here.

      • nats128 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Best thing he could do for the Nats now. He owes Rizzo.

      • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Promptly loads em up with one out.

      • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Aaaaaand three runs home. :-(

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Seattle up 5-3 after Logan Morrison’s three run homer.

    • Doc - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      Shouda traded CYoung to the A’s for Beane’s Bag!

  11. edshelton2013 - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    We have a black hole with hitters 5-9 tonight. First four hitters have to carry us.
    Why isn’t Souza starting vs. a lefty??

    • bowdenball - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      I already addressed Espinosa’s splits against lefties in a previous post. For the record, Desmond’s OPS this year is.772 against lefties, almost 100 points higher than his numbers against righties. Harper’s reverse splits this year are well-documented.

      Lobaton and Fister do struggle against lefties, so I guess you’ve got a point there. Take it up with Wilson Ramos’ wife’s obstetrician and the MLB Commissioner’s office circa 1973.

      • masterfishkeeper - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        It is interesting that Lobaton for his career has hit RHP better than LHP. I wish MW would not reflexively do the day game/night game thing, and instead use Lobaton against a RHP and Ramos against the LHP when the opportunity presents. For example, if the opponent is starting a RHP Saturday evening and a LHP Sunday afternoon, give Ramos Saturday off. But MW doesn’t seem that creative.

      • bowdenball - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        I hadn’t even thought about that, Masterfishkeeper. Great point.

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Practically speaking, Harp is the only one he would replace (since Souza can’t, so far as I know, pitch or play 2B or catcher).

      Bryce will start hitting again–the Nats need it, and will be a better club when he does. MW went out of his way last night to show support for Harp. I don’t think he would follow that up by benching him, even vs a LHP.

  12. David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I’m glad the Braves are winning. I don’t want to face them when they’ve lost 8 in a row. That means they’re due for a win. Let them get a win out of the way today and then we can beat them.

    • David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Actually, the Braves are losing. But I hope they win. Sort of.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        What the h e double l

      • David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        I know my logic makes no sense. But I can’t shake this feeling that they’ll break out against us if they’ve lost 8 straight. If they win today, they will have broken the streak and we can start a new one for them.

        It’s irrational.

      • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        My thinking is the Nats should be FEARLESS against ATL. Every one of their starters has been beat, including Teheran. Especially Teheran. Go to town on ‘em. Crush ‘em in their own house so they bury the d*** tomahawks and never want to hear them again.

    • David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      OTOH, if they lose, we only have to win one game of this series to ensure we leave ATL in first place.

  13. David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Ace of MLB Stats ‏@AceballStats 17s
    #Nationals Denard Span is batting .297/.346/.403 with 104 R, 37 2B, 9 3B, 5 HR, 47 RBI, & 33 SB over his last 162 games.

    • scmargenau - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Ha! That’s hilarious.

      Reverse triple lock

      • scmargenau - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        That was for earlier comment. WP error

  14. scmargenau - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    As an admitted non fan of Bryce Harper I have a feeling he has a break out game tonight. 3-5 with. HR

    Mark the tape

    • Candide - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      How come WordPress has no edit function?

      Werth gnome and his new buddies.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        Now, that’s funny. :-)

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        +1!

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:57 PM

        Candide — that’s totally awesome!

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    “@Ken_Rosenthal: #Phillies’ Byrd also claimed on revocable trade waivers by an unidentified club. Papelbon cleared waivers; has limited no-trade protection.”

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      I’m hoping Byrd was claimed by the Nats… *sigh*

      • natsjackinfl - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Probably Pittsburgh what with their McCutcheon problem.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        Ooooohhh, yeah you’re probably right… Forgot about that… Just that fast especially since we will be facing Pit soon….

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      So Reuben gets another chance not to work out a trade!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        I think it’s possible but he knows he has to do this.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        We’ll see. There was a report earlier today that he had finally acknowledged the Phillies were a couple of years away from contending again — something he hadn’t been willing to say before.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Remember, tho, right around the time of the ASG, he essentially declared “Store’s open! We’re finally ready to deal.”

        And then he didn’t.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        You’re right, of course, but this may be a way to say to Messrs. Rollins and Utley that “insisting on your no-trade clauses will just keep you on a losing team.”

  16. stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    M’s, ahead 7-3, bring in their sixth pitcher. That’s a different approach.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      In watching the Braves, it’s always comforting when B.J. Upton steps up to the plate.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Bj Upton AKA Espinosa of the south.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      And that’s the ballgame, 7-3 Seattle.

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Braves lose again. Fun!

  18. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    This Bryce Harper/Matt Williams radio interview is blowing up!

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    “@DOBrienAJC: #Braves lose to finish an 0-8 trip, their first winless trip of at least that length since 1949″

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      … since 1949

      Just. Wow.

  20. scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Do it Fister. Be the man. Drive in the only run if need be.

  21. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Aight now…

  22. unkyd59 - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    tony two bags

  23. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Look at baby Jesus… I mean Moses?!!!!!

    Whoot, hoo!!!!!

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Tony 2-Bags followed by a bloop and a bomb!

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      That was nice to score the first run on a bloop that falls into the Bermuda triangle.

      Karma from last night’s Mets’ first run.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        Baseball is unfair to someone most of the time. Gio deserved better.

  25. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Good close down inning after scoring.

    My gnome is standing with span and Harper bobbleheads.

  26. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    What was that Danny? 3 swing & miss from the right side?

  27. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Balls in first inning hit hard, second not so much. Let’s hope third inning harder hits again.

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    We really only have 50 regular season games left… *tears*

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      A Positive we still have 162 in 2015

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      It’s ok — there’ll be a bunch after the regular season ;-)

  29. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    FP hits the nail on the head. Your 3.5 games ahead enjoy it.

  30. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Bad luck on that one by Rendon.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Last night Werth and Souza did the same thing to kill rallies

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        Yep, bad luck BABIP. Some days that’s a single up the middle and others it’s a 6-4-3 inning killer.

  31. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Rendon’s hit remind me of last night. Way too many hard hits at the short stop as he shades to second.

  32. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    I really like Murphy. Wonder what the Mets wanted.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      His defense is average at best. There’s better options out there for the trade return needed.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        We have fielding there. We needed the hitting option.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        That’s why you get Utley who is better all around.

  33. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Come on 0-2 count put them away.

  34. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Murphy is really trying to get thrown out of the game.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      Harper snaps the 0-12 streak. Let’s hope it’s the beginning of something good!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        That’s how you get a streak going.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        It’s going to come for him. I’m thinking (hoping) the Span out of leadoff and Bryce to Mnors questions have the same result

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        No kidding. It’d be crazy to mess with Spandon.

        As for Bryce, the last game he played in the minors he hit three HR’s . . . so, clearly, that’s not going to help him.

  35. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Good range by Danny. What I have already noticed about Asdrubal is much better range to his left than to his right. Danny is better to his right than his left.

  36. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    We have so many 3-0 counts that didn’t result in the batter making it to first this series.

  37. David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Damn man. Desi needs those to drop. Two good swings. Hasn’t had many lately.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Hit the ball hard you will get hits. Swing at bad pitches you don’t. So keep hitting it hard.

  38. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Fister keep it up.

  39. adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Fister: workmanlike, efficient, looks like he could almost throw a 12-inning shutout at this point.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      I will take a 9 innings

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        And I hope I didn’t just jinx him . . .

  40. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Tony 2-Bags again.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      That’s one way to hit the curveball is to shorten up your swing. You are looking at a future Batting Champ. This is the guy to sign now to a 7 or 8 year deal.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        If Espi and Ian would learn swing shorter on 2 strikes tgey could hit 285-300 easily. Both swing way to yards with 2 strikes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        It’s the new-age swing for the fences where K’s are acceptable if you hit the occassional HR. Difference is Espi doesn’t hit enough HRs to justify it. He only thinks he’s a power hitter. Rendon is a throwback player. I have a group of favorite players and he’s near the top. Would love to see Anthony fully “en fuego”.

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        If Espi and Ian would learn swing shorter on 2 strikes tgey could hit 285-300 easily. Both swing way to yards with 2 strikes.

        And Espi did exactly that the last time he started. You could tell easily because he lifted up his lead leg on the first two strikes, but then kept it down on the third one, and he got a single.

        But I think he lifted up his leg on all three pitches in the 2nd inning.

  41. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Sweet tony 2 bag!

  42. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Tony 2 bags

  43. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    There isn’t a better tandem of leadoff/2hole hitters right now in the Majors and that includes Calhoun/Trout.

  44. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Rendon must have been deep.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:28 PM

      Replay showed him way deep. Someone with speed should do that more often.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        The element of surpise and it was still close on the perfect bunt.

  45. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    We need a double play. Murphy who someone above doesn’t want hits great.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      manassas, if you remember, I broke the news before the media that the Nats were looking at Murphy. I also have a good idea on who they wanted. Why trade Souza and Cole plus others for him. You can’t trade away your future for 1 player that isn’t of the impact of Giancarlo or Beltre. I trust Rizzo on that one. Utley would cost far less.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        Negotiate for less. Probably did. Never got the deal we could live with.

        Still said Murphy was an upgrade way above Espi.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Of course he is better offensively than Espi. The issue is trading away the farm.

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Fister needs the pitcher’s best friend here a 6-4-3 doubleplay.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      From your keyboard to…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        Well that was a 5-4-3 but I will take it. People that don’t love a good finesse pitcher like Fister don’t like good baseball! He’s my #1

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      5-4-3… What a bum! ;-)

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      … or 5-4-3 ;-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        I know I know my channeling didn’t work exactly right. It’s like calling a HR to CF when it goes to LF! LOL

  47. adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Man, it sure is nice to have a completely solid-fielding infield when Fister is pitching!!

  48. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Way to go Fister and Rendon and Espi….

  49. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    That is what I called for.

  50. stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    That’s why it’s Mister Fister!

  51. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Game is moving at a great pace…. But I want some more runs…

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Definitely need an add on or two.

  52. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Hit it hard you will get some hits

  53. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    The gnome just went on eBay for 202.50

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      Went, as in SOLD????

  54. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Nice composure by Bryce on a bad strike call

  55. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Bunt

  56. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Did you see that deep breath and exhale by Danny

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      That is a great calming effect. And leads to a nice swing line drive HR.

      For the poster who was laughing about the 5-6-7-8-9 batters, I guess the laugh is on you.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        I wish someone he respects would tell him to dump the left batting.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:49 PM

        It could be that he is nothing more than a platoon player in a system that would accept it.

        Other choice is to go to Winter Ball and try only righty swinging.

  57. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    I love eating crow.

    • stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Mmm…crow.

  58. David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Right-handed Danny.

  59. NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    O Danny Boy!

  60. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Good for Danny!

  61. Danny - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    I said before Danny should always play against LHs

  62. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Why does Espi ever bat left handed? Can’t be worse batting right hanged against a eighty then he does left handed

  63. philipd763 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Just what Danny needed!

  64. Danny - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Ha! Camera pans to Danny as he is putting in a big dip.

  65. unkyd59 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    danny four bags

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    I’m happy for Danny….

  67. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    APPLAUSE APPLAUSE. Werth gets the rest of the night off.

  68. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    They are jumping from rooftops in Atlanta!

  69. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Where was that D last night Adam? Great Web Gem Adam!

  70. philipd763 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Can we get a dinger from Souza in the bottom of the 7th?

  71. Danny - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I remember during Fisters first start when he was compared to Haren.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Yes, I remember that too…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        Sad. I wouldn’t call anyone that unless I really didn’t like them. Haren=Extreme Inconsistency

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        I remember all of the excuses for Haren… Rubbish… I was so angry that Rizzo signed him. I know y’all remember my vitriol for him… Ugh, I don’t even want to go back to that dark time of my life…

  72. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Web Gem Adam LaRoche…

    Glad to see Werth get the night off, now too.. Wonder if Leon will go tomorrow as well and if Souza plays for Werth…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      I’m still hoping Ramos is back tomorrow.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM

        I’m really hoping Lobo goes a 3rd since Ramos will be back on Friday… And that Souza gets to play for Werth…

        Not sure we can go with a line up with Souza and Leon, though, and be successful….

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        I would pull Lobaton now and do just that. If not, it’s asking a lot and not sure Lobo has the stamina to go 2 long games with an early start in the 3rd.

  73. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    OMG!!

    We are hitting on all cylinders now..

  74. stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Beastly.

  75. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    OMG, that was CRUSHED! Souza! Darn foul pole needed to be 10 feet left.

  76. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Damn- So close

  77. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Promising at bat by Souza Jr… I remember how antsy/jittery he was during his first time up… Progress..

  78. stoatva - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    That boy needs to play. Figure out someplace.

  79. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    What a K pitch by Fister.

  80. David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Thornton has been bad with inherited runners, so I will be interested to see how this goes.

  81. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Whys he take Fister out???? I would have let him go all the way…. Save the ‘over-worked’ BP….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Lefty Granderson. Do you trust the new guy?

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        What best way to look at him via a low-leverage situation, I guess… But only reason Grandy got on last time was the element of surprise with the bunt and it was still close…

        I would have rather kept Fiater in though….

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        101 pitches and after the last 2 nights MW had an itchy trigger finger.

  82. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Anyone complaining about the hook of Fister?

  83. conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Don’t understand that move. Fister is still dealing- Finish the inning.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      LOOGY with two lefties coming up. Low leverage. Work in the new guy. Fister 101 pitches.

      The heart says leave him in. But, it makes sense to bring in Thornton.

  84. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    It’s the perfect spot for a LOOGY like Blevins as I wouldn’t trust the new guy just yet. I hope he is up to it.

    • conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      I agree. One swing and it’s a different ball game

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        MW is damned if he do and damed if he don’t.

      • conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Liking his stuff though

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        In this case, I don’t think it’s a damned if you do… Becuz of the score… If it had been closer in score, think it would be a different situation….

        Just becuz Fiater really has owned everything it’s kinda like uhm, why bring him in… But yeah, no harm no foul and we get to see the new guy…

        So it’s all good…. For tonight… :-)

  85. knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Ok Thornton, show me some thunder in your pitching here.

  86. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Thornton gonna go 2?

  87. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Uhm, didnt the Nats have 3 lefties in the BP IN 2012?

  88. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    At any rate… *in my Tony the Tiger voice* Gggrrreeeaaattttt Night for Fister…. That guy is totally awesome… He’s a pro’s pro and man, I’m appreciative he is on the Nats….

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      After the trade was made for Fister one of my co-workers, a big Tigers fan, came to my office to tell me that the Nationals didn’t only steal Fister we committed “grand larceny” as he called it.

      • conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        In Rizzo we trust :-)

  89. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    I think that’s an unearned run.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Unearned

  90. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    This is where I absolutely bring in Clip to face Wright no matter the outcome.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      OK, minimal damage. If Wright hits a 3 run jack there it’s ugly on MW. Nice sinker from Thornton.

      • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        Apparently Thorton doesn’t give up HRs. You can see why, the way his ball sinks.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        He gives up XBH though and Wright can hit sinkers. Just happy MW won’t have to answer to people like me on why he left Thornton in to face David Wright.

        Disaster averted.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      Yes, I’m always scared of Wright, but, hey: if you want to save you’re bullpen, you gotta bring in other folks when it’s a six run lead in the 8th.

      MW had cojones on that call — but I think it was the right call. A 6-0 lead is the perfect time.

      (‘Cause, hey, we’re always safe with a 6-0 lead, right? ;-) )

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        It was 5 runs though when Wright stepped into the box. I was nervous.

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        I was nervous, too — but, still, better to save Clip for something a bit more close.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:32 PM

        That’s why I couldn’t manage. I would be going double barrel all the time and burn them out.

        I think I could manage a final game of the post-season.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Wow…. I wasn’t nervous… I knew the newbie had it in the bag… :-)

  91. adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Thornton pretty darn impressive with his debut, don’t you all think?

    • Eric - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Agreed

  92. NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    I think LaRoche is back from the wilderness. What say you all?

    • nats128 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Yes. Started yesterday seeing the ball better.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Yes say I.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      He’s had hits in the last 4/5 games, right?

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Just in time!

      Man, that’d be great if the streaky ALR is going on a hot streak — just in time for Hot ‘Lanta.*

      (* Hot as in “the city of Atlanta”, and/or reference to Allman Brothers — not the team which is quite the opposite of hot, unless you’re talking about the fans who are hot under the collar . . . ;-) )

      Charlie Slowes just said: “this is a good sign, because when he starts hitting them, they come in bunches.”

    • conatsguy - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      Kudos NL

      You called it yesterday!

  93. nats128 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Laroche crushed that.

  94. manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Murphy seems to hit lefties well.

    Papa johns tomorrow night.

  95. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Kilgore has nominated Fister tonight as a candidate for the Cy Young award.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      He is 9 or 11 innings of qualifying for ERA.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      Umm . . there’s a certain pitcher on the left coast that might have other thoughts.

      OTOH, funny — I was just nominating him for a Golden Glove…..

      FP or Carp (I forgot which) called him “the ace of the staff”

      • David Proctor - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:29 PM

        Kilgore was asking if Fister would get Cy Young consideration if Kershaw didn’t exist

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Oooh . .. OK. Well, Cueto’s having a pretty darn good season, too.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Kilgore said he won’t win it because of “said” lefty on the West Coast but hey he’s for real.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Kilgore said he won’t win it because of “said” lefty on the West Coast but hey he’s for real.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Kilgore said he won’t win it because of “said” lefty on the West Coast but hey he’s for real.

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      Why not? I’m not saying he will or should win it but I do believe he deserves serious consideration.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM

        A bunch of #3 and #4 votes for sure. I think he’s that good.

  96. Eric - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Great shot of Harper congratulating Espi after his dinger.

  97. Joe Seamhead - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    I am not, nor was I ever worried about ALR. He is a streaky hitter. Always has been. He’s fine.

    • scmargenau - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      That doesn’t concern u in play offs?

  98. scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Boy I would love to see what Danny could do from the right side of the plate full time. Suspect I’m not alone with that thought.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      +1 He’s almost worthless as a lefty so why not try it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        And when I say try it, I mean in the off-season.

  99. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    So I would have totally put in Blevins….

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      Curious as to why? If I had my way, I would put Blevins in… In a taxi to the airport.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

        Game was over at that point… And since we are still carrying him on the roster, you’ve got to use him… It was a low level situation… He does well in those.

  100. adcwonk - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    My awesome set-up tonight:

    I’m working a bit on the computer, switching between stuff and NI. Listening to Charlie and Dave.

    When there’s a good play, I run to the other room and watch it on MASN, which is about 5-6 seconds behind.

    And our team is up 7-1 on a day when the Braves already lost.

    Pleasant evening, tonight.

    Good times, good times . . . after suffering too many years with no home team, and then consecutive 100+ loss seasons, let’s not forget to stop and smell the roses, to enjoy our Nats . . .

    (wipes a tear from the eye . . ;-) )

    • janebeard - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      adcwonk, right on.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      *raises glass*

      I still like Nyjer and Lastings….

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      +1000

  101. Eric - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Way to keep it in front of ya, Souza…if you’re gonna lay out for an impossible play…

  102. Eric - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Nice play Souza!

  103. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Whoop, whoop… Here, here… And all is right in Nats Land!!!!

  104. Eric - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    4 up friends!

    We will be in first when we leave Atlanta

    Good stuff!

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      I will be disappointed if we don’t stretch the lead in Atlanta.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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.
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