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Game 120: Pirates at Nats

Aug 15, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

The Nationals showed this week they could have their way with a struggling team like the Mets. Now we’ll find out how they fare against a Pirates club that despite injuries to Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole currently holds one of the NL’s two wild card positions.

Jayson Werth is not in the Nats’ lineup for the sixth time in seven games. Hopefully we’ll get an update on his ailing right shoulder in a little while. Michael Taylor gets another chance to start in right field in Werth’s place.

Tanner Roark takes the mound for the Nationals, seeking his 12th win. He’s opposed by Pirates sinkerballer Charlie Morton. Updates to come on a gorgeous evening in the District…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (66-53)
CF Denard Span
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
RF Michael Taylor
RHP Tanner Roark

PIRATES (64-57)
SS Josh Harrison
RF Gregory Polanco
C Russell Martin
2B Neil Walker
CF Starling Marte
LF Travis Snider
1B Ike Davis
3B Pedro Alvarez
RHP Charlie Morton

UMPIRES
HP Tom Woodring
1B Mark Wegner (cc)
2B Andy Fletcher
3B Mike Muchlinski

7:06 p.m. — We are underway here on a spectacular August night in the District. Tanner Roark delivers strike one to Josh Harrison.

7:16 p.m. — The top of the Pirates lineup really made Roark work — he needed 21 pitches just to face the night’s first three batters — but the right-hander emerged unscathed. Gregory Polanco drew a walk, stole second and took third on Russell Martin’s flyball to right, but Roark got Neil Walker to also fly out to end the inning. Bottom of the first coming up.

7:38 p.m. — Charlie Morton looks very hittable tonight, and the Nats took advantage of that in the bottom of the first. Their first six batters all reached base against the right-hander, the only out coming when Denard Span was thrown out trying (foolishly, I might add) to steal third base. No matter, because Adam LaRoche delivered an RBI single and Bryce Harper added his own 2-run single on a 3-2 pitch. Wilson Ramos did kill the possibility of a huge inning when he grounded the first pitch he saw into a double play, but it’s tough to complain about a 3-0 lead after one inning.

7:48 p.m. — Roark is through two scoreless innings. The only knock so far: His pitch count is already at 45 despite having faced only eight batters.

8:00 p.m. — Better stuff from Roark in the top of the third, during which he retired the side on 12 pitches. So he’s at a more manageable 57 for the night, with the Nats still leading 3-0.

8:15 p.m. — And the Nats keep piling on Morton. Four more batters reached base in the bottom of the third, two of them scoring (on RBI singles by LaRoche and Ramos). It’s 5-0 and things are looking quite good so far.

8:31 p.m. — But not as good as they looked 16 minutes ago. The Pirates just got three runs back against Roark in the top of the fourth. Neil Walker doubled, then Starling Marte hammered a hanging slider for a 2-run homer. Travis Snider walked and then scored from first on Pedro Alvarez’s double to right-center, though he would’ve been out had Ramos been able to hang onto a short-hop throw to the plate. So just like that, it’s a 5-3 game, with a whole lotta baseball left to be played.

8:52 p.m. — Roark gets back on track in the fifth, retiring the side. Really, aside from that awful fourth inning, he’s been quite good tonight. Still 5-3, middle of the fifth.

9:04 p.m. — Yes, the Nats have scored five runs in five innings tonight. They’ve also put 14 men on base already, so they really could (and probably should) have scored more than this. They had another great chance in the bottom of the fifth after Desmond and Harper singled off Jeanmar Gomez. But Ramos grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw, killing that rally. So Ramos now has seen a total of three pitches in three at-bats tonight, making four outs while driving in one run. Not a whole lot of wasted energy from the Buffalo. It’s still 5-3 heading to the sixth.

9:15 p.m. — 107 pitches over 5 2/3 innings was as far as Matt Williams was willing to let Roark go tonight, so the right-hander was pulled with a man on in the sixth. In came Jerry Blevins to face Ike Davis, but Clint Hurdle countered with Gaby Sanchez, a favorable matchup for the Pirates. Props to Blevins, then, for getting Sanchez to hit a groundball that ended he inning. That’s a big out for him against a right-handed hitter. Still 5-3 going to the bottom of the sixth.

9:35 p.m. — A 1-2-3 seventh inning from Drew Storen, helping bridge the gap. The Nats pitching staff has been quite good tonight aside from that weird fourth inning from Roark. Stretch time, still 5-3 Nats.

9:51 p.m. — And now a 1-2-3 eighth inning from Tyler Clippard. That’s seven batters faced, seven batters retired tonight by the Nats bullpen. They have protected a 5-3 lead as Rafael Soriano begins to loosen up in the pen for the ninth.

9:59 p.m. — OK, here’s Soriano. He’ll face Marte, Snider and Sanchez in the ninth inning of a 5-3 game.

10:11 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 5-4 after Soriano gave up back-to-back 2-out hits that brought home one run and left the tying runner at third. They’ve won 4 straight and are a season-best 14 games over .500.

206 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Go Nats, win another series.

  2. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    The Atlanta media is nasty and unprofessional, even to their own team. There’s a story in their paper that refers to BJ Upton as “The Lesser Upton” throughout the entire piece. I’m not sure that’s really necessary even if BJ is awful.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      I guess they weren’t talking about how much they weigh.

  3. veejh - Aug 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Roark pitching….no McCutchen, a Nats killer…..I foresee a win.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Pirates are a good team regardless. Never underestimate your opponent.

      • npb99 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        Doesn’t matter what we fans say here – it has no effect on the game!

  4. nats106 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Morton has 1 good outing, then 2 bad. Let’s hope he continues that trend. Again, we are missing 25% of our starting position players. Let’s hope it doesn’t slow us down tonight. Looking forward to picking up a Nats Bottleopener-cap tonight!

    • Theophilus T.S. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Is that what the thing in the ad is?

      • natsfan1a - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        Carpenter thinks it’s for holding a golf club, but I’m gonna go with bottle opener.

        On a game note – go, Roark! Go, NATS!!

      • natszee - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        Miller Beer Cap night …

  5. tcostant - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Interesting the the Nationals didn’t initially support the new Commish Elect.:

    http://nypost.com/2014/08/14/rob-manfred-to-take-over-as-mlb-commissioner/

    The Nationals flipped on the sixth ballot, giving Manfred the 23 votes he needed and avoiding a stalemate the current commissioner clearly did not want. Selig then ordered a symbolic seventh vote in which the teams supported Manfred unanimously.

    • masterfishkeeper - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Let’s hope the Nats earned some brownie points for flipping.

      On a weird note, tonights’ Pirates starter, Morton, was once traded for Nate McLouth.

      • coop202 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Interesting – I wonder if the other guy promise to side in the Nats favor on MASN but we flipped when the writing was on the wall.

      • tcostant - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        According to the article they were the deciding vote. If they didn’t flip, we might have a stalemate with no one getting the required votes. How about that shifty move of voting after the fact so Manfred eas unanimous,

      • coop202 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        What happens if there’s a stalemate? Half to admit I don’t know

      • coop202 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Have, not half

      • thelatencn - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        If you provide the deciding vote on the sixth ballot, you’ve got to get more than brownie points. You’ve got to get a commitment on something.

  6. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Rizzo about to be interviewed on MLB Network, starting in 3, 2, 1.,,,

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Michael Taylor’s family traveled to DC to watch his home debut.

    Exciting!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      The plan is for Werth to be back in the lineup on Sunday so Taylor gets some more chances to show what he has.

      Nats played yesterday with 3 backups out of the 8 position players.

      This is a good defensive team behind Roark with possibly the best defensive outfield the Nats have.

      • tcostant - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        Werth can pinch hit tonight and could start Saturday, per Washington Post.

  8. Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Nothing of note in the Rizzo interview. Not willing to take the bait on anything.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      He plays it close to the vest.

      • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Very boringly so. :-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        That’s smart. “Boring” around cameras and microphones is good business.

      • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        I suppose. He could be careful but also show a little more enthusiasm. Maybe mention what a great story Roark is, since he’s starting tonight. Or bring up Michael Taylor, or even Rendon filling in for Zim at 3rd. But whatever, no harm no foul.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        Yah, it’s pretty dry without Uncle Davey. If they can zip up Bryce, the media would get nothing.

      • Steady Eddie - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        `I imagine the goal in many of these media sessions is like with congressional hearings — don’t make news, avoid damage.

        Even if he said something nice about one of the Nats, someone in the media would take it as a slight of someone he didn’t mention.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        Steady Eddie, that’s a great point. Things get twisted easily.

      • knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        ” `I imagine the goal in many of these media sessions is like with congressional hearings — don’t make news, avoid damage.

        Even if he said something nice about one of the Nats, someone in the media would take it as a slight of someone he didn’t mention.”

        Remember when Fransden was praising Rendon earlier this season and some of the media, and fans, sort of got bent out of shape for a perceived slight of Harper?

  9. erocks33 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    Gotta admit that I haven’t been paying attention to the Pirates much this year, but it seems strange to see Neil Walker batting cleanup and Ike Davis and Pedro Alvarez hitting in the 7/8 spots tonight. Have they been doing this a lot this season? Has it been working for them?

  10. NatsNut - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    I swear, I can’t look at Asdrubal Cabrera without thinking he looks like a muppet.

    • coop202 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      +1

  11. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    David O’Brien @DOBrienAJC · 9m
    Freddie Freeman: “Everybody wants to say you can’t panic but the time is now.”

    • masterfishkeeper - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      I agree with Freddie: Braves should panic!

      • npb99 - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        +1!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      Wow just wow on that quote. Any Justin Upton update?

  12. topnat - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    He looks a little like A-Rod

  13. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    37 and counting. Let’s lower that number.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    The bunt down 3rd is in play. Alvarez has been struggling with defense.

  15. knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Off topic on tonight’s game but I really like the look of tonight’s uniforms especially Roark’s red, white and blue style.

  16. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Darn walks.

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Roark throws 22 pitches.

  18. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    That’s a really bad time to be caught.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      Agreed. Poor jump. Pitcher struggling. Don’t help him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Was it a straight steal, a called double steal. What was it.

  19. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Not sure I understand the double steal when this guy can’t really find the SZ… Either way, needed a perfect throw from the C and it was…

  20. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Shift this!

    – Adam LaRoche

  21. knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Need a crooked number in this inning.

  22. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Bryce make contact here plz

    • Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      That’ll do!

  23. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Walker playing at doubleplay depth and the ball is caught if he’s playing on the back of the dirt. Good luck for the Nats on that Bryce humpback liner.

  24. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Can’t complain about 3 runs, but I feel like we let their guy off the hook.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Sure did. Remember the Henderson Alvarez game. Have to knock them out when you have the opportunity.

      • David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Well at least we got 3 runs this time. Alvarez we were completely useless. But we should have had at least 4, maybe 5+

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        There’s that saying that you don’t help a struggling pitcher. Running into the 1st out for a pitcher who couldn’t find the zone just isn’t smart. If you can knock out Morton in the 1st game of the series you really set yourself up for games #2 and #3.

      • nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        Alvarez got stronger as the game went on. He was primed for the taking in the 1st inning.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        Nats had bases loaded and Espinosa struck out as he was swinging from his cleats.

  25. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    That was a great at bat by Harper… I mean really great.

  26. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Roark is getting into deep counts with most of these batters. Already over 40 pitches.

    • nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      Not great when you are pitching a average of 22 1/2 pitches per inning.

  27. nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Michael Taylor sees the knee buckler. Good morning, good afternoon and good night.

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Good 3rd inning by Roark.

  29. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Nice quick inning, but this is one of those games where you take 6 from Roark gladly. Stuff doesn’t look as crisp as usual and the pitch count is high.

  30. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    OK just checking in, looking good so far. Glad McCutchen is out. Never really been a big fan of the blue uni’s though. Go Tanner, Go Nats!

  31. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Cabrera has exceeded my expectations

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      What were your expectations?

    • nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Hes played 12 games for the Nats. Talk about small sample sizes. Im pleased that hes an upgrade over Danny however is that really saying much.

  32. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Justin Upton in the starting lineup for the Barves.

    • nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      And he hit a HR.

  33. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Could ALR reach 100 RBI again like in ’12? He has some catching up to do, but that’s a juicy thought.

  34. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Bad AB Bryce. We are letting this guy off again

  35. nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Ramos! 2 out RBI

  36. philipd763 - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Taylor is not ready for the majors yet.

    • Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      Souza is probably kicking himself that he got hurt.

  37. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Rendon with 84 runs scored.

  38. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    You know, these “boring” 5-run lead games are not good for the blog ratings…. nothing to complain about! :-)

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Ha yah. It keeps the LoD away which is fine with me.

    • scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Jinx!

  39. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Where is the put away pitch tonight on the 0-2. That fastball outside is way off the plate. Would rather see the slider.

  40. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Cool hand Tanner.

  41. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Of course, the rest of you are probably at the game in person, putting me to shame. I’ll be there Sunday though.

  42. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Me and my big mouth… :-(

  43. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    “coollikelivo – Aug 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM
    You know, these “boring” 5-run lead games are not good for the blog ratings…. nothing to complain about!”

    Yah, back to a ballgame…..just like that.

    Tanner clearly doesn’t have his best stuff but he has to know his batters. That was dead red.

  44. Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Wow. There are a lot of Pirate fans here.

  45. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    It was a matter of time because Roark’s command has been poor. Thankfully, we scored 5. Could use more.

  46. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    74+ pitches thru 4 and it’s only 1 out….. Yikes!

  47. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    McCatty needs to make a visit

  48. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Ramos is AWFUL at that play.

  49. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Honestly..

  50. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Wow Ramos… What was that…

  51. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Uh oh, cue Tcosant, Ramos didn’t get that short hop.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      The relay throw was not perfect, but your catcher has to catch that ball. Roark is more at fault than the fielders , as he is pitching poorly tonight.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        “Has to”? No, you’d like him to. Poor relay throw.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        Steve, it was in his mitt. He dropped the ball. Again. I agree Canrara’s throw could’ve been better, but that has not been a strong part of Ramos’ game, and just this year.

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        Edit: “not”just this year.

  52. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Unfortunately we got a ballgame.

  53. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    I pinch hit for Roark here, but there’s no chance Matt does.

  54. masterfishkeeper - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    In other news, Zack Walters just hit another home run for Cleveland.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      And the Braves lead 5-0

    • scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      I was a fan of Zacks…but I’m liking asdrubal a wile lot. Tough trade…

  55. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Whelp, foot on throats… No let up… Let’s get those runs back…

  56. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Aight D Span… Was willing that one to go to the seats…

  57. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Oh come on, Span is due for a homer. So close.

  58. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    In other news… Hamels is awful tonight…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Looks like Las Vegas will be rethinking their Power Rankings.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        This was a good time for the braves to play them… They are like 13-12 in their last 25 games I think I read earlier…

        Bunt I fully expect the A’s to get it done tomorrow and the day after that… I guess a squirrel finds a nut every so often.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        Yep but that game is far from over ;)

  59. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    We’ve left an awful lot of runs out there.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:54 PM

      The 1st inning caught stealing when you have no outs and 2 on and a struggling pitcher was the biggest play of the game.

      Morton wasn’t fooling anyone in the 1st inning.

  60. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Okay Matt, you got him to qualify for the win. Now get him the hell out of there.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      We will see. Matt in the past has had a slow hook but think about it that Roark’s turn in the order could come up and he might pull him due to that.

  61. Nats Amore - Aug 15, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Freiman just homered in the Braves game. That would be Nate Freiman of the A’s, actually. 5-2 Braves.

  62. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Harper shortened up on that swing. I like that a lot.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      Bryce had a walkoff single in his rookie year on that exact type of single.

  63. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    That was mature hitting by Bryce. Take what you can get….

  64. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Come on Ramos… Park it in the seats…

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      I hate Ramos first pitch swinging… Absolutely hate it.

  65. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Ramos has an RBI but he’s killed us tonight, both offensively and defensively.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Ramos has hit into 2 double plays and dropped I saw as a playable throw at the plate. Not having a great game so far.

  66. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Wilson swings at the first pitch too often that is all.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      1 for 3 and making contact. I know you want more but that’s the breaks of the game.

  67. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Time for Michael A to show us what he has. We saw it in Game 1 and nothing since.

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      Two walks yesterday and a deep fly ball that might have been 2 bases or more in many other parks in the NL. How quickly you forget!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        I didn’t forget. I have seen a lot of all or nothing swings for 500 feet and are just ugly swing and miss.

        I thought he shortened that swing and I am seeing too many K’s.

        Need to see more control and head on the ball.

  68. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Knew this was coming, but anytime Taylor doesn’t strike out I’m surprised.

  69. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    That pitch to Taylor might be a strike, but it hasn’t been called one all night.

    • Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      Ehh looked good to me

      • David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        Like I said, it probably is a strike. But that ump has not been calling it for either side.

    • coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      Taylor has been given a rookie strike zone by the umps for sure, but he needs to adjust to it to make it stop…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        That was a strike. The ump hasn’t been consistent but that’s a strike. Have to take the bat off of your shoulders.

      • coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        I’m generalizing more than commenting on the one pitch…

  70. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Is Roark really still in?

  71. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Okay ump called it for Roark. I’ll back off.

  72. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I thought he was banned…

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      Where did you see the banned one. I see nothing?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Nope. Makes ridiculous comments on Taylor based on 4 games.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:41 PM

        Taylor swings wildly like Ian, we will live with it.

  73. philipd763 - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    The pesky Pirates are hanging around; this game is not over.

  74. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Perfect time to pull Roark. Matty gave him enough rope. He ran out of it.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      Agreed.

  75. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Blevins bring used correctly!!

  76. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Me feelings are quiet known for mr Blevins…

  77. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    I got hom e in time to see Ramos double play. 10 hits before I got home 0 since. How did I cause this,

  78. micksback1 - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    would like 1-2 more runs. so Roark goes 5 2/3?

    first chance I have had to get on NI tonight, I almost went to game but it fell through. looks like beautiful night too and a sell out.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      +1 on more runs, and yes, Roark goes 5 2/3

  79. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K — 107 pitches, 68 strikes.

    Not great, not awful by Roark. Those 20+ pitch innings to start the game were telling that Tanner didn’t have his A stuff tonight.

    • micksback1 - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      agreed, 1st inning he was high in the zone on his fast ball, but still, he is doing his job

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      As I said I missed first 4 innings, what was his downfall?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        Just got into deep counts and wasn’t locating the fastball. 2 run HR by Marte on a missed location. He really gutted through it. 3 runs over 5 2/3 isn’t great but he didn’t lose his lead and that is good.

  80. knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Do we see Storen in the seventh?

  81. knoxvillenat - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Word Press doing its awful thing moving posts around out of order.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      WordPress is terrible. Not sure why we switched to it.

  82. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    My stats on RISP. we are third in number at bats with RISP. tonight plenty again. Average 13th.

  83. David Proctor - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    We just REFUSE to add that insurance run.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      No a good habit down to 4 for 14.

  84. Mark Zuckerman - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    To answer the mystery of the out-of-order comments …

    It appears that anytime a comment is reported, it gets bumped all the way to the bottom of the page until I either approve it or delete it. Also, any replies to comments that get reported or deleted go to the bottom of the page.

    My best advice: Don’t reply to comments that get reported. Or any that look like they might merit deletion.

    Thanks and apologies for all the confusion.

    • scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      Good to know. Thanks Mark.

  85. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    We are so use ro solid starting pitching. Where today Roark was mediocre. Morton was bad as I listened to the first on radio.

  86. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Let’s get a couple insurance runs today.

  87. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Druuuuu!

  88. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    FP-Isms: Early in the game when we were up by a few runs I noticed FP was getting a bit goofy in his commentary, so I started writing down some of the goofier ones. I love FP for his really excellent extremely intelligent insights, and for his offbeat humor, so in posting these F-Pisms I fully intend to honor a DC broadcasting gem. So here are the highlights from tonight (so far):

    “Lobaton should have passed it once, he’s been taking too many shots lately… If they want to run some plays I’d be happy to diagram some X’s and O’s for them.” (speaking of taking off the helmet of the HR hitter and basketball shooting it into the bin).

    “I’d BBQ with those batting gloves on the 4th of July” (speaking f Bryce’s bating gloves).

    Bob C. joins th efun: “Still clearing mascot debris from the field as we enter the 4th.” (referring to collision of Teddy racing president and racing perogi).

    “Is umpteenth between 15 and 19?” (responding to BC comment about catcher’s “umpteenth” blocked pitch in the dirt)…..”There’s the umpteenth and half block….”

    “That Bill bobblehead may or may not eat your hot dog Sunday night” (re Taft bobblehead giveaway night).

    ….

  89. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Problem with the report button. It is next to reply and can to easily accidently hit. I have even hit mine occasionally.

    But it would be an easy solve. Have a button come up says do you really want to report. Then we could bail out.

    Just a thought.

  90. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Wow Walker must not though Harper would soul as he was near second.

  91. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    He went more than many called strikes.

  92. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    That is a shutdown 8th.

  93. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Clip has been lights out since All Star game.

  94. scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Come on Taylor!

    • Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      You expect him to make contact?

  95. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Scott.
    Hairston.

  96. scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Dumb. Hate Hairston vs righties.

  97. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Taylor needs to learn a fast balk on the outer side of the plate just needs to be driven to right, don’t try pulling them, just drive them.

  98. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Is it just he or does Hairston K every time against RH

  99. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    I know none of us know the answer. Why is Hairston still on the team?

    • dcwx61 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      We got no body else unfortunately.

  100. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    When do we expect to use Thornton? Not suggesting now, but he’s been a bit of a ghost since we got him….

    • Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      The perks of having your starters give up 0 earned in 3 straight.

  101. Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Tucked.
    Just got home from SE. Train was full of ballpark crowd in the 7th inning?! WTH?

    • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      Have you still not figured out that he pitches up in the zone on purpose against some hitters? Not everyone is a high ball hitter. He had pretty good command tonight and the Bucs hit some good pitches. Nor did they really hit the ball hard. A few of the hits just snuck through. He got the job done for the third day in a row. Some closers can’t do that.

    • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      Sorry, that comment was a reply to an MNF comment about Soriano getting the ball up. Thanks WordPress.

  102. nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Hairston with another K. What an acquisition!

  103. mdmcommish - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Here we go. Buckle up.

  104. nats128 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Not a good slider from Soriano. Lucky that didn’t end up in the Red Porch.

  105. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Keep the damn ball down. This is when he has problems. Keep the ball low. It is not rocket science.

    • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      Have you still not figured out that he pitches up in the zone on purpose against some hitters? Not everyone is a high ball hitter. He had pretty good command tonight and the Bucs hit some good pitches. Nor did they really hit the ball hard. A few of the hits just snuck through. He got the job done for the third day in a row. Some closers can’t do that.

  106. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    That was dangerous…..

  107. manassasnatsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    After 2 strikes to much fiddling.

  108. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Pass the Maalox.

  109. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Backup catcher come on get him.

  110. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    sigh

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

    ……

  112. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Gotta love the drama… Lol… What. a. Game.

  113. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    WOW! Breathe in, breathe out.

  114. coollikelivo - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Yeehah! Untuck. (even though WordPress may never post this comment :-) See y’all tomorrow!

  115. Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Untucked. Had it all the way!

  116. Danny - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    That is Typical Soriano.

    • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Actually, it’s not typical. DP has the stats in the in the next post. Three saves in three days. I’ll take it.

  117. scmargenau - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Ok…I know stat wise sori is good but I just don’t trust sori

  118. Bob - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    We’re going nowhere with Soriano as the closer. Go with Clippard and Storen. We sneak by only because we hand him a cushion, the playoffs will be closer games and we’ll lose. The fans and announcers have no confidence so I assume the players are holding their breath when he comes in.

    • Section 222 - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      You must have missed Desi’s comments a few weeks ago about how he knows what he’s doing and the team has confidence in him. And the results justify that confidence in case you haven’t noticed.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3 My Sofa - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      Speak for yourself. I have plenty of confidence, his manager (one of the few people whose opinion counts) has confidence, his teammates (the other people whose opinion counts, along with the GM’s) have confidence in him. No one gives a rat’s patootie what the announcers or the fans think, and for good reason: it doesn’t make a rat’s patootie worth of difference what we think.

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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)...

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