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Game 116: Nats at Braves

Aug 10, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

ATLANTA — Hello once again from Turner Field. Feels like I just left this place. Oh wait, I did! Thank god the Nationals and Braves are on Sunday Night Baseball, though, which afforded everybody the opportunity to sleep in this morning after last night’s rain-delayed, 11-inning affair that ended at 2:29 a.m.

There will be no shortage of storylines for ESPN to highlight during tonight’s broadcast. They’ll surely focus on Bryce Harper as he strides to the plate for the first time, zooming in on the sacred “A” in the dirt. And they’ll certainly make something of the Braves’ dominance of the Nationals over the last two years (though, it should be pointed out, the Nats have now won 3 of their last 4 head-to-head meetings).

Gio Gonzalez and Alex Wood square off in a matchup of lefties. The Nationals hope to have Jayson Werth back in the lineup after two straight nights battling shoulder and ankle ailments. They also have a new face on the active roster: Michael Taylor, the 23-year-old top outfield prospect, who officially was called up from Class AAA Syracuse today, with Steven Souza Jr. placed on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder contusion.

Plenty of updates to come, though hopefully there will be no need for weather updates tonight (despite a forecast that once again calls for scattered thunderstorms)…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 8:05 p.m. EDT
TV: ESPN
Radio: 92.7 FM, 94.3 FM, 106.7 FM, 980 AM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Thunderstorms, 78 degrees, Wind 5 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (63-52)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
LHP Gio Gonzalez

BRAVES (59-57)
CF Emilio Bonifacio
2B Tommy LaStella
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Justin Upton
RF Jason Heyward
3B Chris Johnson
C Gerald Laird
SS Ramiro Pena
LHP Alex Wood

UMPIRES
HP Phil Cuzzi
1B Will Little
2B Gerry Davis (cc)
3B Greg Gibson

8:08 p.m. — And we’re underway, in front of a surprisingly sparse crowd here. I get that it’s a Sunday night and people have to work tomorrow, but there might be 15,000 people here for the start of a nationally televised game.

8:17 p.m. — A 1-out single for Anthony Rendon in the top of the first (he also stole second). But the most notable thing might well have been Jayson Werth’s swings on some outside pitches from Alex Wood. This is where his shoulder injury comes into play, and you could see how he just can’t drive those the way he normally does. He wound up lofting a lazy flyball to right for the second out of what proved to be a scoreless inning.

8:31 p.m. — Here is how Gio Gonzalez’s first inning went: He faced six batters, with only one putting the ball in play (Freddie Freeman, who — surprise! — singled to raise his season average against the Nats to .510). He walked two but struck out three, including Chris Johnson with the bases loaded to end a 29-pitch inning. Not the cleanest frame ever, but Gio got out of it unscathed. Scoreless after one.

8:45 p.m. — I can’t believe I actually paid attention to this, but Harper walked straight across the plate to the batter’s box for his first at-bat tonight, not coming within 10 feet of the logo. So much for that drama.

8:54 p.m. — This, however, is some serious drama: Through two innings, Gio has six strikeouts. Yes, he’s on pace for 27 strikeouts tonight. The odds of that actually happening is fairly slim, but it’s quite impressive nonetheless.

9:08 p.m. — Well, Gonzalez recorded two outs on balls in play in the bottom of the third, so we won’t see 27 strikeouts tonight. He did, however, whiff Freeman to end the inning, so he’s got 7 total Ks through three in what remains a scoreless game.

9:15 p.m. — Ian Desmond puts the Nats on the board with an opposite-field homer, an absolute bullet to right-center off Wood to lead off the fourth. That’s his 19th of the season, and though it was the only hit for the Nats in the inning, it preceded well-struck drives to the warning track by both Harper and Espinosa. 1-0 Nats in the middle of the fourth.

9:32 p.m. — But the Braves strike back in the bottom of the fourth. Gonzalez tried to sneak a 3-2 changeup past Justin Upton, then watched as the ball sailed into the left field stands. That’s Upton’s 1,000th career hit and 500th career RBI. Not a bad way to reach both milestones. Gio is now up to a staggering 88 pitches after four innings in a 1-1 game.

9:44 p.m. — Denard Span keeps on rolling. He doubled off the wall in right-center in the top of the fifth, extending his streak to 36 straight games reaching base and 14 games with a hit. The Nats, though, couldn’t advance him. Fredi Gonzalez elected to intentionally walk Werth and pitch to the red-hot LaRoche, but Wood has had his number tonight and struck LaRoche out for the third time. To the bottom of the fifth, still 1-1.

10:03 p.m. — Well that wasn’t good. Just when it looked like Gio would pitch his way out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth, he made a major mental mistake that cost him and the Nats. With runners on first and third and two out, Gonzalez failed to cover first base on a grounder to the right side that got past LaRoche but was scooped up by Espinosa, who had nobody to throw to. That brought a run home and ended Gio’s wild night. His final line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HR, 111 pitches. Good lord. It’s 2-1 Braves heading to the sixth.

10:23 p.m. — Craig Stammen has put out the fire for now, but the Nats can’t get to Alex Wood. They still trail 2-1 heading to the seventh.

10:36 p.m. — Span doubled again with two outs in the seventh, giving the Nats a chance to tie this game up, but Rendon (after a tough check-swing call) flew out to right. So Wood is through seven innings on 114 pitches and the Nats still trail 2-1 at the stretch.

10:44 p.m. — Jerry Blevins just struck out the side in the eighth, getting LaStella, Freeman and Upton in order. I repeat: Jerry Blevins just struck out the side. I witnessed it with my own eyes. Nice job by the lefty to keep this a 2-1 game. And now Wood is taking the mound for the eighth despite a pitch count of 114. The Braves bullpen is taxed.

10:51 p.m. — Wood walked Werth to open the eighth, but he then struck out LaRoche for the fourth time tonight, then departed to a rousing ovation. In came David Carpenter to face Desmond, who didn’t exactly make the right-hander work. Desmond grounded the very first pitch to short for a killer 6-4-3 double play. So it’s still 2-1 and the Nats are now down to their last three outs.

11:09 p.m. — Blevins gave up a huge insurance run in the eighth, but it’s hard to blame him for that. He struck out five batters in two innings and had his pitch count up to 29, only to be left in to face Evan Gattis. That’s not an advantageous spot for Blevins. And though he battled well, he gave up a bloop single to the big guy, making this a 3-1 game as Craig Kimbrel enters for the ninth.

11:15 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats lose 3-1 and drop the series. They still remain 3 1/2 games up in the division, though, as they head out of town.

569 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Matt Williams gained 2 batters as Gio completes 4 2/3. Just pathetic.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      You and I are apparently watching the same game…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        We are, we are. It’s like gambling. You play the odds of risk/reward. I was betting that there was no way Gio gets through that inning.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Nats lead the league in SSPs — Stoopid Starting Pitchers.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Web Gem Harper!

  3. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    nice! Booo away Barves fans….

  4. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Nice play Bharp34…. Nice play….

  5. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    F*** YEAH HARPER!!!!!!

  6. conatsguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Bryce!!

  7. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    OK, whew. A lot of energy spent here so far and the game is barely half over. Everyone take a deep breath, the game starts now. We’ll get into their ‘pen soon and the whole dynamic can (hopefully) change.

  8. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    I know lots people don’t believe in booing. I have no trouble if the player simple forgets to do his job like Gio. I could boo that easily without hesitation.

  9. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    This is fascinating, you clowns.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      I guess I should make it clear I was speaking about the inane ESPN chatter.

  10. scnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Coop I don’t know what game you are watching he kills the pen by not even going 5, issues a stupid walk then mentally checks out.

  11. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    coop, stoat, +1 on support for Gio. Coop, I wouldn’t say he was his usual effectively wild self, but I do agree that a big part of the struggle was that they were just seeing him, knew his sequences, etc.

    stoatva, I agree the defensive alignment played a role. I think Gio played that like he thought he needed to cover the relay.

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

      Thanks. I don’t give Gio a pass because that’s something he frequently does, but I don’t think it was the automatic out people seem to think. It was a grounder to right field, and Haywood can run.

      • coop202 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        Ya he wasn’t in cruise control that’s for sure but he wasn’t “throwing a fit” and letting up true big innings. Between the bunt and the over shift though… PFP time

      • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        Agreed. He was remarkably calm, especially for him. Could’ve been a lot worse a number of times.

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    +1

  13. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Typical Braves-Nats affair.

  14. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Ramos didn’t miss that one by much, either.

  15. Barced - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Gio should be left off the playoff roster just because he is such a head case.

  16. natsguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    You can defend him till the cows come home but Gio always loses concentration for one inning. Nickname should be Captain Air Head. They are lucky they still are in the game. Sta of note the Nats have win 3 out of last 4 against Barfs.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      I won’t say he is an air head… But I will say that mark Z nailed it at 10:03… His line tonight is not good at all…

  17. knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    More likely to be known as the Waffle House.

  18. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    If these two jackasses were having this conversation next to me at a bar I’d change seats.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      Aargh. The ESPN guys, I mean.

  19. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Stammen’s heater is biting tonight.

  20. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    So apparently swm didn’t have a monopoly on character attacks. Sweet.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      If I am attacker still believe we will win. He didn’t.

      I do know when the ball is hut to the right side you run to first instinctively. nip didn’t thus he was beat. Do what you practice all spring to do the game is tied 1-1.

      Is that a character attract. Possibly a little, but since Gio was mad at himself (I hope) . He knows he didn’t do what he was suppose to.

      • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        “character attack” referred to calling him stupid/an airhead.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        I called him out for nit doing his job covering first. I don’t know if he is an airhead, but sure doesn’t study the charts. High strikes low breaking pitches.

  21. David Proctor - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    That was a really nice play by Harper to cut that off.

  22. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Wow…how’d he get to that pitch so solidly? Damn.

    Well done Harper

    • coop202 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Well played all around. Good pitch, good swing, harper’s having a good defensive night at least

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    PItching high stress innings like that is also like putting 7 to 8 innings on your catcher to be in the squate for 110 pitches.

    The boxscore might look OK but this is what he did in Game 5. Had to hand it over to a bullpen who couldn’t hold down the fort.

    Good starters go 6+ innings.

    • natinalsgo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      That’s a valid point. Has to be tough on a catcher working with Gio.

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      Gio needs to make (or finalize?) some adjustments, that’s for sure.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        I think it’s having a plan and being confident and he needs to breathe easy.

  24. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Alex Wood second career hit. I guess Stamens theory is who wear him out on the bases.

    Wow ALR let that go foul. Looked like he could get it fair.

  25. Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Can youse lay off the racial epithets please?

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      If you’re referring to “kike” earlier, I think that was a typo.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        I bailed on the in-game again after this, so, late response, but for the record, I meant “cracker.”

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      I looked for one and couldn’t find one. If I did one it would be a typo.

  26. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Nice inning Stammen and Harp.

    Now see the ball, hit the ball y’all!

  27. hitmeimopen - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    It only stands to reason that Gio should get his jaw jacked by Werth. That was the same lackadaisical BS he pulled before and Werth let him know it.

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      I wanna see more of the camera angle behind home plate. Get on it MASN.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Unfortunately, I think the highlight clips are embargoed until the end of the national broadcast.

      • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        OMG are you f***ing kidding me on that check swing k???????

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Maybe Werth will take care of business.

  28. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Hit this guy jeez.

  29. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    here we go!

  30. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Come on Tony two bags… Do just that and split the gap between Bonifaccio and JUpton…

  31. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Span is just something else.

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Wow…. Really blue?

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Just terrible

  33. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Thanks blue

  34. coop202 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    You know you messes up blue… Why not give it back?

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

      Giving the pitcher the inside strike after blowing the check swing call was NOT. GOOD.

  35. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    And the blue inserted himself… Thanks a bunch… Why the heck didnt you do something MW….

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      None of this would have happened if Matt Williams were still alive!

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      MW much less confrontational than most of us would like.

  36. knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Might be the worse check swing call I’ve seen since Lance Berkman in Houston, 2010 was it?

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      It the top 10 at least, but don’t get that predicument.

  37. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Last I heard our RISP was still in the lower part of the league, have moved up any in the last few weeks. Still seems to poor for my taste.

  38. David Proctor - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Umpiring just completely screwed Rendon.

  39. wmlsays - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    That kind of call makes you wonder if the guy isn’t being paid off or just needs a night off. Still, why do the Nats really want to win this division?

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      That is a silly question. The whole point of playing is winning the division.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Neither wild card is likely to be from the NL East.

  40. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Big bats coming up next inning… That’s our best chance…

  41. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    OK…well… I’m absolutely OK breaking their hearts tonight.

    Hang in there Nats.

  42. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    The called strike two to Rendon wasn’t inches inside, it was a marginal, pitcher’s call… but neither of the previous pitches were anywhere NEAR the zone, and the ump should have realized that he jumped the gun by not asking for help on the check swing.

  43. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    oh no, it’s Blehhhvins

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      He easily out pitched Gio

  44. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Every time Blevins goes in, I feel like me just concedes games…

  45. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      I might let someone else face JUp, though.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        Or semi-intentionally walk him, like Gio did earlier.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        Or, y’know… just strike him out. I definitely like that option the best.

  46. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Good pitch but better frame by Ramos…

  47. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Blevins/JUp? Yikes.

  48. Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Well…OK then!!

  49. veejh - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    good stuff from Blev

  50. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    OK, I take back my “Blehhhvins” snark….

  51. knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Blehhhvins………!

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

    Good to see Blevins perform in a high stress situation…

  53. davecydell - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Wood back
    maybe one inning tooooo many

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Hope so.

  54. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    I think Davey Johnson would have found a couple of opportunities to get himself tossed this year, replay or no replay. Don’t know that it makes any difference, but at least you knew the guy had a pulse.

  55. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Hopefully they will take it to Wood this inning… Big bats this time.. And the time to do it…

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Time for LaRoche to catch up with him.

  56. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Come on Adam…. Base hit at least man…. Base hit….

  57. veejh - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    The Braves just wear their pitchers out. 120 pitches. Yikes.

    • adcwonk - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      That’s gonna come back to bite them. Maybe later this season. Maybe next year. But it’s gonna bite them sooner or later.

  58. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Time for LaRoche to come through. Freddi leaves his pitcher in at 120 pitches just to face ALR. Make them pay Adam!!!!

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Maybe ALR should have tried to bunt in that AB?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        The next time I hear ALR hits lefties as well as righties I will just laugh.

        Some pitchers have ownership of the batters. Wood on LaRoche.

  59. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Ai yai yai yai
    Gol-den som-brero!

  60. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Maybe if LaRoche would swing at a strike we may produce.

  61. Barced - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Lafailed again

  62. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Terrible, terrible night for Adam LaRoche…

    Wood threw 120+ pitches apand we only scored 1 run… Laughable.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      Very terrible, let the inside strike go by. Then swung at pitches outside of the strike zone. Once fine, but to do it each time, your not taking notes.

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Laughable? He wasn’t exactly pitching BP out there.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        Yes laughable, what part of 0-6/7 In RISP didnt you see.. Nats had their chances and failed… But I forget you and I are watching different games..

        So you go head and watch that one… I will continue to watch what I’m watching.

      • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        You’re telling me Wood’s pitching was poor or mediocre?

        If so, yeah, we’re watching different games.

  63. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    LaRoche I think almost swung no strikes tonight, he let the inside strikes go, and swung at the pitches outside. Had he not swung the bat tonight I bet he would have walked at least once.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      I think we can agree that he was not seeing Wood very well tonight.

  64. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Four outs left, so Barves can just match up lefty-righty from here on out. Not that I’m a believer in “playing the percentages.”

  65. veejh - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    LaGoldenSombrero

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Werth isn’t running well… So I’m hoping Desi hits something deep and in play…

  67. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Sheesh.

    • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      +1

  68. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    What a joke.

  69. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Well, that’s it…. Just a terrible night for the Nats… Maybe they are tired, whatever… The other team played late into the night too….

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      The other was tired and lost, so they should have in weaker according to psyche people. Long games wear out losing team more than winning team.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        They’re at home, which is not a minor advantage.

      • Eric - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        They also had a day off while we played extras and traveled.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        They just lost 8 out of 10… And here it is, they are about to win 2 against us…

        Hey, braves got issues.. Just face the Nats…

        Opportunity it there to push them down and what do we do… Have 1 ‘moral’ victory but still a loss, great win last night and come out tonight and do nothing…

        And of course, the stand up job by Gio….

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      The Barves weren’t exactly setting the night on fire, either.

      This game has put people asleep from coast to coast.

  70. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    I don’t mind swinging at first pitches like Mrs B. Except in 2 condition. 1. Following a walk 2. First pitch from a reliever.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      I hate first pitch swinging.. Desi needs to approach that pitcher like he is a lead off man…. You bail him out on 1 damn pitch,,,

      And LaRoche didnt swing at nothing in the zone….

      Just terrible effort tonight…

  71. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Let’s hope for a 9th inning comeback.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Kimbrel third day maybe the charm.

  72. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    In pretty much a must win series for the Braves. Predictably, we don’t bury them.

  73. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Gio pathetic fielding looks like it could be the difference.

    Blevins making Gio look bad. However 2 righties why no one up.

  74. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    MW may be pressing his luck with Blevins here, although it would be wonderful if he’s pulled himself back into April form. I guess we’ll find out.

  75. knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    ” Jerry Blevins just struck out the side in the eighth, ”

    Mark, don’t rush the game, pretty sure that was the seventh.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      He was predicting.

  76. Drew - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    The second baseman missed the bag, didn’t he?

    Man, I wish Williams had managed this game differently. LaRoche has flailed against this guy all night.

    If he had used Cabrera or Hairston or even Taylor to hit for Stammen he could have hit Frandsen for LaRoche and had Kevin play first base.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      As far as Taylor is concerned we have seen that Matt won’t start him or use him earlier in the game because “EEK A ROOKIE” but will put him in when he has no alternatives and the game is on the line.

      I mean, makes as much sense as anything, right?

  77. Nats fool - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Terrible plate approach from Desmond as usual. You never let a reliever off the hook like that. This team can’t hit.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      At least with men on they don’t hit enough for my taste.

  78. philipd763 - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    With Kimbrell coming in for the ninth, the Braves have a lock on this one. I certainly hope MW doesn’t let Danny bat and strike out.

  79. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    It’s like 10k people there… Noise machine is cranking….

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      Why doesn’t the press get after the chop. That is much more offensive than ant name,

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Like in Oreos Park they pipe in noise.

  80. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    2 of the 3 righties on.

  81. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Matty has a choice. I’d pull Blevins here. You got more than you could have expected.

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Agreed

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Ayup.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        Gotta keep that bullpen fresh for golf tomorrow.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      MW fell asleep

  82. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Blevins is a Loogy…. Guess he’s saving the BP

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      That’s what he’s doing. Hoping to get lucky.

  83. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Hopefully kimbrel used up in the bullpen

  84. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Let’s hang one Blevins, got lucky.

  85. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Come on Blue. That was a K.

  86. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    That was a bigger cut than Rendon took.

  87. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    That was more of a swing then Rendon

  88. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    That looked just like Anthony’s check swing…

  89. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Blue didn’t want to say Gattis swung there too?

    • Scott - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Lucky

    • donniebenth - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      Gee. Where have I seen this one before. Tight game until middle innings. Defensive brain burp. Turn it over to Barves bullpen .

  90. knoxvillenat - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    And that was a check swing when Rendon’s wasn’t?

  91. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Mw why did you allow this

    • adcwonk - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Gattis was fooled, lunged, and it hit off the end of the bat.

  92. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Let me say it again… Blevins is a Loogy… MW will never learn.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      Let me say it again… I feel like every time MW puts Blevins in the game, he concedes the game….

  93. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Emergency hack on a super pitch. Whaddya gonna do?

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

      How about not having your Loogy face a righty… No?

      I mean you can’t make this stuff up….

  94. veejh - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Why, MW, why?

  95. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Changeup away changeup away. Why didn’t he throw one.

  96. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    That’s a clutch pinch-hit by Gattis. Nats pinch-hitters wouldn’t know what clutch is.

  97. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    You want it high and outside not low and outside. Do they have a plan?

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Nothing wrong with that pitch. Not a thing. Gattis was flailing, but he got it. It happens.

      • Scott - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        True. Lucky hit

    • adcwonk - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      He kept swinging and missing the low outside ones. That -was- the plan for Gattis. Way lucky hit.

  98. naterialguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    If we all knew you shouldn’t leave Blevins in how could mw not.?

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      I think the answer is that his only RHs are Storen, Clippard and Soriano, and… you know Matt as well as I do. That’s not on the dance card.

  99. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Like I said, the risk/reward you get is knowing how to gamble. Price paid. 3-1 lead is huge. Have to hang 2 to 3 on Kimbrel here.

  100. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    I will have my dodger blue on for tomorrow…

    • Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      When are we planning on taking care of our own business. Another Braves series loss.

      • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        We need to relax, take a day off, and then get back to sweeping the Mets.

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

        I’m just as baffled as you. Of course, I hope the Nats come back but such uninspiring play right now….

        Just frustrated and frustrating…

  101. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    We don’t have a game so what possible reason did we keep Blevins after Hayward?

    MW and his bullpen choises are usually poor.

    Blevins against a eighty is just throwing a white flag, and MW hasn’t figured that out yet. A slow learner I am guessing.

  102. exposedindc - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    MW in full Davey Johnson mode….

    • Scott - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      Trst

  103. Danny - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Wish Bryce could shut them up.

  104. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    I hate the Braves fan more than Phillies.

    • naterialguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      I would agree with that statement

  105. coollikelivo - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    I have been patient with MW all year and have thought many of the critics were overreacting. I have now got on the bandwagon that he is not cut out for this job right now.. Maybe with experience he’ll get there, but he really seems to be a slow learner.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      I think he sees a larger picture which was not burning players tonight. He has 25 men and he expects all 25 to do their job.

      Gio didn’t cover 1st base and that led to MW going with a different strategy.

  106. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Kimbrel is a 2 pitch guy. The ones that get him are the ones that can barrel up that fastball or the hanging slider.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      I think it’s fair to say that if he’s throwing strikes you’re not going to beat him. He gets in trouble mostly when he’s wild… or when someone just runs into one like Espinosa did in that 9-0–> 10-11 debacle.

  107. stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Bryce was expecting the slider there. So was I.

  108. Nats fool - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Stupid and stubborn, a bad combination. It should have been 4 to 1.

  109. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Damn Bryce… Damn Kimbrel….

  110. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Kimbrel’s fast ball easier to hit then the slider,

    What the hell does Harper want, always be ready for the fast ball

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      What would you have said if he swung over the slider again?

      Same damn thing.

  111. naterialguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Those Atlanta fans sure have class.

  112. philipd763 - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Harper is hopeless!

  113. Rick Norris - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Harper is an idiot and asked for the humiliation he just received on national TV. What an embarrassment to our team.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      SWM! How ya been, buddy?

  114. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    They went 0-8 on the road…. And then they face us and get their swagger back… And beat us yet again in another series….

    Laughable.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Let’s see how they do after we leave town.

  115. manassasnatsfan - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    If Ktuk is right then Rick Schu is not coaching. Never choose the slider over the fastball. Never, the slider will be a ball most of the the time. So why nit choose the fastball.

  116. Rick Norris - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Harper is an idiot and deserved the humiliation he just received on national TV. What an embarrassment to our team.

    • stoatva - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      I say you’re our banned troll, and I’m flaggin’ ya.

      • Rick Norris - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        I’ve been a Senators fan since 1967 and I’m just stating the obvious.

    • naterialguy - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      Rick Norris, you know nothing about Bryce Harper and seem to be better suited to be a braves fan. Very ignorant statement.

      • Rick Norris - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        As the announcers said tonight, hitting .250 does not buy you the luxury of acting like a fool. He is unprofessionally taunting their fans and has backed himself into a corner which he can only perform his way out of. Striking out to chants of Harper s#”ks is hardly a position any player, team or fan like you or I should be subject to when the player in question has brought it on himself.

  117. exposedindc - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Once again we make an average MLB pitcher look like a cy young winner…. The Nats are really good but man the offense is really inconsistent

  118. snopes1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    If “cracker” is going to be an acceptable term in discussing Braves fans (who are black, Asian, and white), I’m not going to be able to stomach reading Nats Insider.

  119. snopes1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    I’m not going to be polite here. That’s flat out racist.

  120. snopes1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    From Wikipedia: “Cracker, sometimes white cracker or cracka, is a usually derogatory term for white people, especially poor rural whites in the Southern United States.”

    Please stop it.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      Thank you.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

*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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