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Instant analysis: Nats 3, Diamondbacks 2

Aug 20, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

AP AP

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In search of only the second 9-game winning streak in club history, the Nationals did plenty of things right. They got another highly effective start from Tanner Roark (seven scoreless innings), got a couple of big hits from Asdrubal Cabrera and Jayson Werth and a nice takeout slide from Bryce Harper that brought home a run.

All they needed was a couple of clean innings from the back end of their now-rested bullpen. Which they couldn’t get. Tyler Clippard gave up a game-tying, 2-run homer to Ender Inciarte in the top of the eighth, turning a 2-0 lead into a 2-2 game and spoiling Roark’s fine effort.

Once again, though, the Nationals bounced back from some adversity. Rafael Soriano tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth after getting two days off following his blown save. And then Anthony Rendon delivered the pinch-hit single that scored Harper and won the game in the bottom of the ninth. Thus the Nationals kept the streak alive. They’ve now won nine in a row, with four of the last five coming in walk-off fashion. They’ll go for a club record-tying 10th straight win tomorrow afternoon.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The game-winning rally was ignited by Harper, who worked the count full and then roped a leadoff single up the middle, his third hit of the night. Wilson Ramos, perhaps trying too hard to end it in dramatic fashion, struck out on three pitches, but Kevin Frandsen followed with a sharp grounder past a diving Aaron Hill up the middle. Harper aggressively went first-to-third on the hit, and that set the stage for Rendon. Out of the lineup for the first time after 62 consecutive starts, Rendon roped a hard grounder down the third-base line. Harper sprinted home and the Nationals celebrated once again.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: For all the angst over Rafael Soriano, Clippard is in his own rut right now. Given a chance to close on Monday when Soriano needed the night off, Clippard served up the game-tying homer to David Peralta. Back in his familiar setup role tonight, he did it again. A leadoff walk to Jordan Pacheco set the table. Then Inciarte’s 2-run homer sealed the deal. Clippard hadn’t given up a homer since April 11. All of a sudden, he has allowed two in three days. And the Nationals’ bullpen has been charged with three blown saves in four days. Not good.

KEY STAT: Five major-league pitchers have at least 10 starts this season giving up zero or one run while going at least seven innings: Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels and Tanner Roark.

UP NEXT: This 4-game series concludes with a 4:05 p.m. matinee that also happens to be Ian Desmond bobblehead giveaway day. Gio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals, trying to get himself back on track, facing fellow lefty Wade Miley.

171 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    is it WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. scnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    What horrid fielding by the snakes in that inning. Makes you appreciate our infield.

    The fun continues.

  3. micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    a chance to go 20 over 500 tomorrow

    unbelievable!

  4. Danny - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    And Soriano gets the win!

  5. Eric - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    THE BRAVES BLINKED FIRST

    Things are absolutely stellar right now. I mean…just…WOW!

  6. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Look how happy Sori is, congratulating Rendon. Yeah, that guy is sullen and doesn’t care about the team.

    • scmargenau - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      First I’ve seen him smile. It was great to see…

  7. stoatva - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Soriano seems to pitch better when he isn’t getting daily work.

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      hopefully, MW sees that to

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      I said that in the game thread 3 games a week for any of the A bullpen (or any other)

  8. micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    I did look ahead at schedule, i plead guilty. Other than the road trip to LA and Seatlte, it appears Nats have a chance to really win each of the remaining series, even though they do not have to.

  9. conatsguy - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Gotta give MW credit for the Soriano call. Could have backfired, but instead He has another bullpen weapon back in the fold

    • Eric - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      That last K was NASTY.

  10. Danny - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Bryce is on MLB network

  11. rayvil01 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Nice job, Nats. That is very well done.

  12. TimDz - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Dear Barves,

    If YOU win….WE’LL win…..

    If YOU lose….we’ll STILL win….

    Love (not really),

    The NATS….

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      LOLOLO

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      + 7

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      I love you post

      POTN!!!!

    • natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      +7, indeed.

  13. ehay2k - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Ho hum, another walk-off. Fun times, unless you’re a Barves fan. They had their run at the beginning of the year, we will have ours now. 7 games. So sweet.

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Bryce got ripped on not getting the walk then gets into a 3-2 count and is rewarded with the single. Happy for him with all the hate he received since he returned.

    • rayvil01 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      Agreed!

  15. adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Five major-league pitchers have at least 10 starts this season giving up zero or one run while going at least seven innings: Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels and Tanner Roark.

    That is incredible.

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      that is pretty good company that Tanner is in

    • Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Amazing!

    • conatsguy - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Great stat. What an accomplishment!

  16. micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    its hard to believe that Taylor Jordan almost beat out Tanner for the 5th spot

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    The way the Barves lost tonight was crushing to them. I have to imagine their clubhouse is ready to crumble with no veteran leadership from Chipper and McCann. The Uptons earned their poor reps and their might be some truth to it.

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      well said…I love every minute of their demise! look for Marlins to over take them, then you will see all the rats leaving ship in atlanta

      lol

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        Their crowds are small and their racist tomahawk chop is offensive. How long before they are 7,000 a game. Can’t wait to see it happen just like what has happened in Philly.

        They all criticized the Nats and out fanbase. Look who will be laughing.

        If the Nats get that money from MASN, this off-season could be fruitful.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Have I mentioned that I have hated the braves since 1982?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        Wow, I never hated them until 2012. I had too much hate for the Phoolies. Now its Barves, Oreos and Phoolies and Cardinals (not their fans).

      • coop202 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42 PM

        Speaking of the Oreos… When are people going to stop doing the O during the national anthem?

  18. scnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Anyone see the Giants won a protest, first win of a protest since mid 80’s!!!

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      thanks, time to check that out

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      They won because the tarp was improperly put on the previous times so it took forever to get it on, when it only rained 20 minutes. Shoddy job previously by ground screw. Last night they worked, but it was like beating their head against the wall.

      • coollikelivo - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        hah hah, you said “ground screw”… heheh heheh heheh!

        — Beavis

  19. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Tanner was great, we had just enough offense, and the Barves lost. All in all, a great night for baseball. How about that winning pitcher? He looked pretty dang good. ;-)

  20. conatsguy - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    These last four walk off wins are going to pay dividends late in the season and into the playoffs.

    Sweep tomorrow and we are 7 1/2 in front, while the Barves watch on TV.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      The Barves play the Reds tomorrow night.

    • conatsguy - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Whoops, Barves do play tomorrow. Though they were off.

  21. adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Tell me: how confident were all of us in a situation where it’s 1st and 3rd and one out and Rendon at the plate?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Very cocky like it was a done deal!

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Yeah I was confident… I knew he was gonna make contact…

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        Exactly. Actually I was guessing a sac fly — but, I felt completely and comfortably confident that the game was going to end on that at bat.

      • Eric - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        I literally envisioned a ground ball hit, but more so through the 5.5 hole.

        So awesome.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I thought it was going to be a sac fly.

    • Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Totally confident. Thought he’d probably hit a sac fly. He makes solid contact more than anyone I’ve ever seen. Did you see Harper’s postgame interview? Kind of shook his head in admiring way and said, “he’s a great hitter.”

  22. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    MW didn’t think Tanner was his sharpest. Luck be a Roark tonight! I usually judge him by where he is in the zone. He battled and that’s what I like about him. When things don’t go his way, he digs deeper.

    • micksback1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      that is what Gio needs to do, he can learn from Tanner!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        Ironic huh, the veteran learning from the newbie.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      No runs and only 5 hits and 6 base runners allowed in 7 innings isn’t Roark at his sharpest? Wow, that’s scary–for the rest of the league.

      If only Gio could get back into 2012 form, and it seems more mental with him than physical, the Nats would have the best rotation in baseball, not just this year but over the past couple of decades.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        It might not matter for the playoffs when you go with a 4 man rotation.

        Gio should find himself like Zito several years ago and be picking daisies somewhere. He better remove his head from his butt quickly because that’s how he pitches.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Yep–after his stinko performance in the 2012 playoffs, Gio would be the odd man out if I were in charge of assembling the postseason roster–assuming of course he doesn’t get right down the stretch.

  23. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Great game to be at… Just had a lot of watching this one… Be back in the park tomorrow…

    Did ya notice The jump, hop skip from Sori after the close!?!

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      I knew if he pitched well he would get a good hand.

    • Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      I did! Noted it in the game thread even. Maybe he does that all the time. But we never see it because he’s either untucking or trudging off the mound after a bad outing.

  24. adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    You know . . . a 7 game lead on August 20th is a pretty decent position to be in.

    (Yeah, yeah, it’s still going to be tough, nothing’s a lock, but, bottom line: it’s a pretty good position to be in)

  25. npb99 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Another great win!

    Just an observation: why does the RBI guy always get mobbed, get the Gatorade shower, the interview, etc.? The guy who gets on base and gets around to score – Werth a few days ago with the double, Harper tonight with the single and great baserunning to third – they should be considered equal heroes. But they always take second billing behind the RBI guy.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Harper was on the MLB network for 5 minutes. Plenty of interview time.

      • npb99 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:15 PM

        Good to hear.

    • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      They get some love, but it’s true not the same amount. I don’t think they are equal heroes. Especially when it happens with two outs, the walkoff guy has much more pressure on him. He delivered in the most pressure-filled situation in baseball.

  26. faridrushdi - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Each time Tanner Roark takes the mound, I think, “THIS is the night the man behind the curtain shows his face and we all realize that we’re not in Oz any more. Then he pitches seven shutout innings.

    I think we should forever more refer to the 5th spot in the rotation as the “Cristian Guzman memorial rotation spot.” Amazing ….

    • karlkolchak - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      214 career innings pitched would strongly indicate that this is who he has really become–another Doug Fister. If the league was really going to figure him out it would have done so by now.

      Not saying some regression isn’t possible or even likely. Just saying that the longer he has success the less likely it is he is going to suddenly crash and burn.

    • Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Perfect. The CGMRS. Basically, the best thing Guzman did for this team was allow us to get Roark.

  27. TimDz - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    HARPER had a GAME tonight….nice night at the plate….nice catch in the field….GREAT take out of the SS, erasing the double play opportunity….

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      GREAT take out of the SS, erasing the double play opportunity….

      One of the most important plays of the game.

      • TimDz - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Definitely…..

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    I can’t wait to watch the screw up by the braves… Gotta love those Upton brothers… Gonna be done at work tomorrow… :-) but the Nats are worth it…

  29. nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Bryce is so different in his interview in the locker room vs all smiles on MLB Network.

  30. nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Does any one have the link to this Upton bros play every one is talking about.

  31. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    EJax 2 2/3 with 7 earned runs. What a bust.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      I couldn’t believe it when the Cubs offered him that huge deal at roughly the same AAV we weren’t willing to pay him for one more year. Of course, as a former White Sox fan who grew up in Illinois, I’ll admit it has been entertaining.

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        Consider how much this must suck as a fan of the Cubs:

        EJax led the league in losses last year, with a 4.98 ERA.

        This year, he leads the league in earned runs surrendered, with a 5.74 ERA (and that’s before tonight’s game!)

        And the Cubs are still on the hook for $11 M for 2015 and $11 M for 2016.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:29 PM

        When do you move EJax to mopup in the bullpen?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        The Oreos just moved Ubaldo Jimenez to mopup in their bullpen. Sucks to be wrong but worse when you stick with it. Cubs need to do something.

  32. Doc - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Rizzo’s grab bag of Frandsen is paying big dividends.

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      No kidding! There aren’t many bench guys anywhere that are hitting .254 !

      And how good must it be for Frandsen — cut in spring training by the last place and getting worse Phillies, and ending up on a team with the best record in the NL.

  33. chrisrw109 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Great game. Had every bit of confidence when Rendon came up that the game was over.

    Has to suck for the Braves. 6 and 4 run and they lose 3 games on the Nats. But I am not crying for them.

    I will happily support a 5th starter who struggles and only throws 7 scoreless innings.

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      A good point — Roark was clearly struggling in the first couple of innings, but battled it out. He cruised later, but, then by the seventh he was starting to tire, and then started that inning-saving double play. Now *that’s* a tough pitcher.

      Where the heck did this unheralded star come from?!?

      • thewerthwhisperer - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        Poor man’s Greg Maddux. Rizzo won the lottery with him.

      • coop202 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        I’ll take it as long as it lasts. Never expect it to stay, but happy when it does

  34. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    If anyone knows where a video of the Harper interview on MLB Network can be found, that would be cool to see. Harold Reynolds is a big fan.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      Should be replayed later. I missed the beginning of it.

  35. thewerthwhisperer - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Would someone please explain Kevin frandsen’s helmet? Does he work in the mines as a PT job? Get run over by a motorcycle? Have an accident with his eyeblack?
    Discuss.

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      +7

      (awesome proposed answers! LOL!)

  36. stoatva - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Trout hitting .236 since all star break, yet he’s AL MVP presumptive?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      His numbers were so good from the 1st half but it’s been his to lose and he might lose it if he keeps it up.

  37. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Greg Amsinger on MLB Network just called EJax “A disastorous 2014.”

    • veejh - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Have any of the last 3 years not been?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        2012 wasn’t good but compared to his current demise, no comparison. Rizzo was wise to move on from that mistake.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        I was at Nats Park for Jackson’s first home start in 2012 when he completely shut the Reds’ powerful lineup down, striking out 9 and allowing only 2 hits and 1 run in a complete game win. I remember thinking that if this guy was our number 4 starter, we finally had a chance to be really good.

        Of course, I was also there for his last start as a Nat in the playoffs. That was a different story altogether. :(

      • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        I saw that game too karolk. He was dominant. His slider was unhittable that day. K after K after K. He’s also very athletic, fields well, and can be a good pinch runner.

        What the heck happened to him? Once he got his long term deal, he just gave up it seems.

  38. Joe Seamhead - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    This team is just incredible right now. This old man is just blown away by them from Rizzo all the way down to Hairston.

    • veejh - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      So, are we better with Zim, or without? The lines are getting blurry now. Seems like we win the close ones now, and blew teams out with Zim in. Dunno.

    • npb99 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      The only thing to complain about is why the park isn’t full of people. But who am I to say that, sitting on my couch watching these games. Got a ticket for Friday though.

      • veejh - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        Dbacks is the answer, but its still a bit disconcerting that people arent eager to show up for the best team in the NL.

      • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:01 AM

        Dbacks and first week of school. I’ll bet the crowds will be back this weekend. Certainly StubHub prices suggests that.

      • npb99 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05 AM

        222, Virginia schools don’t start till after Labor Day. D’backs and mid-week still true, but disappointing nevertheless.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      The Asdrubal pickup could be the XFactor pickup the Nats needed. Did you see that piss poor at-bat by Espinosa? He checked out tonight. Hairston is awful no matter what you think. Big deal, a Sac Fly walkoff that even Dobbs could have done.

      • veejh - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        Cabrera off the bench once Zim returns? Oh my. Tough decisions coming up.

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:41 PM

        Don’t just pick on one plate appearance. Small sample size. Let’s look at his last nine games (all PH appearances):

        K, HBP, K, K, K, K, K, Sac Fly, K

        Uggh — he hit a fair ball only once.

        In July and August combined, he’s hitting .111

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        Thank you for that. I’m glad he had a great moment to celebrate with a Sac Fly walkoff but I’m not overly impressed. .

        I’m impressed by Ramos, ALR and Rendon’s walkoffs. No doubter hits.

      • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        I’m good with sac flies. When you need it and it’s there – it’s getting the job done.

        But putting the ball into play only once in 9 PA’s — that’s not good enough. (which is, itself, an understatement)

      • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        Seriously. Imagine how different we’d have felt tonight if Hairston was the guy up with Harper on 3rd in the 9th. Oh, god forbid, Espi.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Now, now… Let’s not talk about the 40th man as he is such a value to the team… Cuz you know, as a bench player, he is okay…

        It’s no point as Hairston is doing his job.. Cuz he is a lefty killer and can hit Hamels…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:09 AM

        Mrsb, I just fell off my chair laughing. “The Hamels Killer” Wasn’t he 1-4 against Hamels? LOL

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:22 AM

        You know I’ve been wanting him GONE SINCE LAST YEAR… And then he had that hot April/May and fooled people into really thinking he could do something…

        I mean just a mess.. Can’t play If, can’t play OF, can’t hit righties, I’ve yet to see him ‘scorch’ a lefty…

        I would rather see him DFA’d and then bring Moore up so he can relieve Adam LaRoche…. I don’t remember his last day off…

        Ugh, I can’t talk about Hairston anymore…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        Well said. I argued with fools that thought that small April/May sample size was going to be indicative of a comeback 2014 season. You could see the incredible BABIP luck he was having. Now he rarely makes contact. I’m thrilled he jerked that Sac Fly for the walkoff but lets be real, TyMo could have done the same.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:38 AM

        Hairston’s chances of being on the postseason roster would seem to be about zero–especially if Zim is back in the fold. In that case, they’ll likely go with a bench of Cabrera, Frandsen, Espinosa and Taylor (for his speed as a pinch runner and also as a late innings defensive replacement). Maybe they’ll go with Moore for his power, but he hasn’t exactly been dominating at Syracuse since his demotion.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:42 AM

        I don’t even think Espinosa is a lock for the post-season roster. Souza, TyMo come to mind. Remember TyMo’s game winning pinch-hit in Game 1, 2012?

      • karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:46 AM

        Just noticed that Schierholtz went 3 for 5, hit a home run and drove in four runs in his first game for Syracuse. I’d say there’s a chance he gets called up before 9/1 so he is eligible for the postseason. That would likely mean a DFA for Hairston.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:48 AM

        It will be interesting to see Aug 31 maneuvers.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        I saw Moore play at Potomac and always have liked him. He certainly had that great moment in the 2012 playoffs after a very good season on the bench. Unfortunately, he has regressed as a hitter since then in what should now be his prime, and had been merely okay at Syracuse this year. It’s also telling that both Souza AND Taylor got the call instead of Moore when the OF was depleted.

  39. Drew - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Roark drops his career ERA to 2.477 in 214.3 career innings.

    • nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Very happy for Tanner. He didnt get the W on his record and he couldnt care less as he was so happy for the team win. What a great guy.

  40. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    “veejh – Aug 20, 2014 at 11:30 PM
    So, are we better with Zim, or without? The lines are getting blurry now. Seems like we win the close ones now, and blew teams out with Zim in. Dunno.”

    Still not blurry. A healthy productive RZim is a game changer. To have RZim even to come off the bench would be huge.

    If RZim comes back you could take him out after 6 or 7 and bring in Asdrubal and not worry as much as you did when Espi would come in for defense with that fear of extra innings and losing RZim’s bat to Espi. RZim to AC is a dropoff but not huge in BA only SLG.

    • nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      +1

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      +1

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      +1 – it’s crystal clear.

    • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      Exactly right Ghost. No way Zim sits on the bench once he returns. And the late inning defensive replacement would be a no brainer. But folks, don’t get too wound up in this question. There’s a real possibility that he’s out for the season. The team we’re seeeing on this run just may be the team that has to take us to the promised land.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:57 AM

        I would hate it if Zim missed the playoffs this year, especially if the Nats go all the way. It would be like when Frank Thomas had to watch from the dugout as the ChiSox finally won the Series in 2005 after being the face of that team for 16 years.

  41. adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Not mentioned yet, or much, tonight:

    Props to Werth, who seems to manage a clutch hit once a game these days.

    All four games since he came back:
    – walked, doubled, scored two runs
    – 1-4 with an RBI on a sac fly (go ahead run in bottom of 8th)
    – 3-for-5 with an RBI and two R’s
    – (tonight) double, RBI

    How nice is it to see him back?!!

    • adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      (I meant to say: at least one per game)

    • nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      With fresh legs also.

    • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      Agreed. Great AB tonight before doubling in the gap to bring in Cabrera. I’m a little worried about his arm though. They say that throwing doesn’t bother his shoulder, but have we seen him uncork a strong throw since he’s been back. Seems like he is avoiding doing that.

      • adcwonk - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:10 AM

        I was listening to Charlie and Dave after a weak throw, and they were saying that he made a strong throw last night, and that he was probably saving his arm on that play because a strong throw was not needed. They also said that his shoulder hurt when batting, not throwing.

        For whatever it’s worth . . .

      • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:22 AM

        Right. I heard that too. They were repeating what MW said about it. I hope they are right. I was at the game last night and don’t remember a strong throw, but I’m sure it happened if they say so. But of course, that throw might have hurt so he might be avoiding doing it again. The throw that prompted the C&D comment wasn’t such a big deal, but he didn’t even attempt a throw on a guy going first to third later in the game. That seemed like a chance worth taking.

  42. nats128 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Angels lost Garrett Richards to a leg injury. His leg buckled covering 1st. Took him off on a stretcher. Angels lose there ace.

    • scmargenau - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      Hate to see that. Recover well Garret.

    • adcwonk - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      Just . . . wow.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      Watching it now.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      It was awful…

      • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:08 AM

        The worst was seeing him screaming in pain in the ground. Poor guy.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        Yeah I had to turn away real quick…. As soon as I saw the stumble…. Hate to see anyone injured….

  43. scmargenau - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    “This team is just incredible right now. This old man is just blown away by them from Rizzo all the way down to Hairston.”

    Ugh…did u have to use the H word.

    • nats128 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      +1 funny

  44. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    The hat will stay on for another day!!

    Why worry about Zimm when he is weeks away?

    Just enjoy who and what this team is right now!!

    Go Nats!!

    • adcwonk - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      Right on, 308!

  45. scmargenau - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Anyone have a list of best restaurants/bars near nats park? Especially with craft beer.?

    • adcwonk - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      I’m sure others have better answers, but Mrs Wonk and I like “the bullpen”, that open-air live music place. Food is mostly pedestrian (a couple of variations), but they have draft beer, and the music is almost always good. We go for the atmosphere.

      • sjm308 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        No No No
        Wonk, I love you but that is not craft beer!! Only cans and a very poor selection.

        SCM – if you want a true brewery, head to BlueJacket – the guy who brews the beer right on the premises (Greg Enert) also runs ChurchKey and Birch and Barley and its a great spot – it will be crowded but true craft beers brewed right there!!

        If you want a smaller venue, Justin’s is closer to the park and usually has 3 or 4 craft beers on tap (he sometimes has a cider in place of one of the beers). He is opening another place right across from the Metro called Big Stick but it is not open yet.

        Park Tavern has a decent selection as well and there is also Gordon Biersch but I hate the lines and honestly am not a huge fan of their beers.

        This obviously is my wheel house

        Go Nats!!

      • adcwonk - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:15 AM

        Hah! Shows you what kind of an expert I am! I thought “craft” was a typo for “draft” ;-)

        Mrs Wonk is our house expert on alcohol . . . I’m the designated driver ;-)

    • sjm308 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:17 AM

      SCM – if you want a true restaurant experience you should go early (or late) and head for Barracks Row.

      Plenty of top places to eat and drink – Matchbox, Ambar, Ted’s Bulletin, a great Oyster place( I forget it’s name), and plenty of others, all really close to the Eastern Market Stop on Metro. There is actually one bar that will shuttle you down to the park (and back) but I have not used them for that.

      • nats128 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        Thats where I go. Teds Bulletin has beer and great burgers and sandwiches. Matchbox always seems to have a wait.

  46. adcwonk - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Magic number now 30.

    Just sayin’ ;-)

    (From the Braves point of view: just six days ago: magic number is 37, they go on a 5-1 streak, and face a magic number of 30. Tough break, ersatz tomahawk choppers)

    • sjm308 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      Wonk – thanks for that – I realize most will say it is too early but just think about the Braves winning 5 of 6 and having that number continue to plummet. Not saying they are now playing for the Wild Card but it can’t help their morale.

      I actually did hear one of the talking heads on MLB network say just that. The Braves are now thought of as a Wild Card contender. Someone pinch me!!!

      Go Nats!!

  47. coop202 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    Loving this streak! Unrelated note but it always bothers me that some chunk of fans every game do the Orioles O chant during the national anthem (not even sure they know it’s an O’s thing). Really wish it would stop

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:06 AM

      Just remember – when this is what’s left to complain about, things are going really well.

      • sjm308 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:13 AM

        HH – agreed, and I don’t think the crowd was large enough to start a wave either

    • nats128 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Coop, I think its dual fans. In 2005 they were loud. Barely audible any more. Yes, they are idiots. Who yells during the Anthem besides unpatriotic infidels.

      • thenatom - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:58 AM

        I yell during the anthem–“home of the Nats” is a much better ending than “home of the brave”.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:51 AM

        Wow, that’s possibly worse than the “OH”.

  48. David Proctor - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Braves before their 5-game winning streak: 6 games out of 1st place
    Braves after their 5-game winning streak: 7 games out of 1st place

    How demoralizing must that be for them?

  49. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    So, had to leave during the 7th inning stretch. Sorry to hear about the blown save. Delighted to hear about another walk-off win. But in watching the replay, it’s clear that Michael Taylor needs more seasoning in AAA. Did anyone else notice he completely blew the ice water dump on Anthony Rendon? Soaked Kevin Frandsen and Bryce Harper, but essentially missed Mr. Rendon entirely.

    • Section 222 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      Yeah, that was funny. Bringing the container on the field for the dogpile seems like a relatively new innovation. It also seems a little bit dangerous. Some is going to get clobbered by that thing sometime. The giant Gatorade jug during the interview ought to be enough, don’t you think?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:47 AM

        Agreed.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      I saw that and thought “Rookie!”

      He looked pretty much ashamed of it, himself. Tougher than it looks, kid. The game moves a lot faster up here.

  50. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    By the way, credit to MW for pulling Clippard.

    • karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      The question must be asked: is our manager learning? I’d say yes. :)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
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.
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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