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Nats have had enough of the 8th

May 2, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

AP

All innings, in theory, are created equal. A run in the fourth inning does count as much as a run in the ninth.

But it certainly feels like some innings are more important than others. And right now, the eighth inning feels really important for the Nationals. Not for positive reasons.

It happened again Friday night at Citi Field. When the eighth inning began, the Nationals trailed the Mets 1-0. They got a leadoff single from Dan Uggla but couldn’t bring him home. Then in the bottom of the inning, Matt Thornton and Blake Treinen combined to surrender three runs, with a major assist to Jayson Werth, whose misplay of Daniel Murphy’s line drive to left turned what should’ve been a sacrifice fly into a 3-run double.

Just like that, the 1-0 deficit was a 4-0 hole the Nationals couldn’t overcome, leading to their first loss in four days and a dropped game in the NL East standings.

If this was an isolated incident, it would be one thing. But if you’ve been following this team through the season’s first month, you know this is happening all too often.

Do you know what the Nationals’ cumulative score for the eighth inning this season is? How about 15-4, in favor of the opposition. That’s their second most-lopsided inning, trailing only the second (which the Nats are losing 19-3 for some inexplicable reason).

What’s going on here? Is there some explanation for this team’s eighth-inning woes?

Certainly the Nationals’ erratic bullpen has something to do with it. Treinen has given up five runs in the eighth inning himself, and that doesn’t include inherited runners who scored while he was on the mound (as was the case Friday). Rafael Martin gave up four runs in the eighth before his demotion to Syracuse earlier this week. Aaron Barrett has allowed two runs in the eighth, none in any other inning he’s pitched so far this year.

But there have been more than a couple of defensive miscues in the eighth inning as well, from Treinen and Ian Desmond’s disastrous night at Fenway Park a few weeks ago to Werth’s misplay Friday night.

How to explain that phenomenon? Could a lack of confidence in the relievers who take the mound late in games cause fielders to get jumpy?

And what about the lack of offense from the Nationals? They’ve only scored four eighth-inning runs in 24 games, their lowest output for any frame other than the second. Are other clubs’ setup men just that good, or do the Nats’ hitters feel some extra pressure to come through at the plate late in these tight games?

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And perhaps it will all even out over the long summer, evidence that there’s not really any logical reason for the eighth-inning woes.

But right now, there’s no scarier sight for the Nationals than that big number eight on the scoreboard.

  1. scmargenau - May 2, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Very concerning. Hopefully they will improve. Help from DL coming soon.

    • natsguy - May 2, 2015 at 9:51 AM

      Who is coming back from DL that can pitch. If you’re thinking Jansen I wouldn’t be that optimistic.

    • unkyd59 - May 2, 2015 at 8:12 AM

      Hard t to argue Darling’s conclusion, but his ramble on “the best kids in the neighborhood” misses the mark, IIRC. Stras was never particularly highly rated, or recruited until late in his college career, right? Had he been a wunderkind, he may have handled the attention and the adversity better?

      • Dave - May 2, 2015 at 8:31 AM

        First of all, daggone itXi hit the”Report”button by mistake. Stupid WordPress interface. Please ignore.

        Arguably, Bryce, a wunderkind, has handled the pressure of the spotlight vastly better than Stras has.

    • Eric - May 2, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      I read that heap of garbage. My favorite part?

      “(I didn’t watch the entire Mets broadcast, so it’s possible Darling praised him later in the game for “growing up” over the course of three innings.)”

  2. stoatva - May 2, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Just a glance at Syracuse Chiefs batting averages is truly horrifying. One of nine starters last night over .235.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      I’m sure the temps they are playing in aren’t conducive to the best stats but hard to discount this:
      Kila (.157), Tony Gwynn Jr (.178), Den Dekker (.190), Ian Stewart (.212), Burriss (.237).

      In contrast Michael Taylor in a SSS was hitting (.385)

      The Nats 3rd catcher Dan Butler is tearing it up at (.214)

  3. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    In Thursday’s game, bottom of the 6th, two outs, Barrett pitching, Flores hits a liner directly at Werth. Werth misjudged that one off the bat also, but the trajectory of the ball was low enough that he was able to recover and make the catch. My point is that Jayson’s not comfortable in left yet, or his general defensive skills are diminishing before our very eyes, or a combination of both.or maybe he’s still just very rusty from starting his season so late. He definitely isn’t looking great out there.so far.

  4. section309 - May 2, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    BT has no business pitching in high leverage spots. He has little control and can’t get lefties out. We either need to try Barrett or find a news reliever because BT is not going to work. Expecting him to work in the 8th is similar to expecting Hrod to close. They don’t have what it takes. And as far as Werth is concerned, he needs out of the 3 hole and should be spelled 2/week from MT who is a better player at this point in his career.

    • AlexandriaNatFan - May 2, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      Oh god…I had forgotten all about Hrod. Shivers.

  5. JayB - May 2, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    Why did he wait so late in the season have the surgery?

    • ArVAFan - May 2, 2015 at 9:18 AM

      Medical advice.

  6. JayB - May 2, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    off season

  7. natsdial8 - May 2, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    Hopefully just one of those games and we get a W today .

  8. nattygoats - May 2, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    The BP is not good. It was not good in 2013. And that could ultimately end up killing this team.

    • ehay2k - May 2, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      The pen was pretty good Wednesday.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 8:44 AM

      The pen really wasn’t bad if you consider the defense behind them and put the blame where it belongs. Thornton comes in and K’s Granderson. Lagares hits a grounder up the middle. Duda hits the ball to Taylor. Taylor froze before coming in and played the ball on a hop. Sorry, that’s on Taylor and when they showed a camera shot from behind homeplate if they had #Statcast working I’m not what the reading would have been on Taylor’s reaction time. Then Treinen walks Cuddyer which wasn’t good. Murphy hits the ball right to Werth who misjudged it and fell down and that caused the 3 runs.

      If you want to blame that on the BP, I guess you can but that was on the outfielders to make plays. I give big credit to Taylor for finally making a “+” play on Plawecki’s fly early in the game. I’ve been waiting to see him do something but his reads are generally tentative and have amounted to numerous misses in the outfield and those aren’t errors. Werth’s wasn’t an error. You see Lagares rob Desmond and that’s a Gold Glove CF.

      Plenty of blame to go around but I don’t blame the BP for this if their fielders make plays.

      • natinalsgo aka Gonats - May 2, 2015 at 9:06 AM

        Fairly simple. People who watch the game and just look at the boxscore will of course blame the bullpen. People who watch the game and see that Thornton gave up 2 singles and Treinen gave up a walk and a double is a large distortion of the quality of the defense behind him.

        I just watched the Red Sox highlights vs NYY and Hanley in LF can’t read a ball in the air. I would love to see #Statcast judge all of these plays.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 9:11 AM

        Nothing is fairly simple in this game and 10 people can be watching the same game and have different opinions. Just look at the grouping of characters on MLB Tonight. They don’t always agree.

        The bullpen wasn’t shutdown or great, but with good defense that gets a different result.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        Are you saying that you think that Taylor should have caught that ball?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 9:34 AM

        The naked eye test showed he froze but I don’t know if it was .3 or .5 or whatever but it was slow. Statcast would’ve told us.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        Steve I watched that play over again a couple of times because of what you said. You know, sometimes balls get hit to the OF to places the fielders can’t get to them, but fans think virtually every ball hit out there should’ve been caught. On that play, I seriously doubt that Taylor could’ve come in and caught it. If he had tried, and it got by him, it would’ve gone to the wall, and then he’d of looked really stupid. Now, that said, I think Span would have possibly of caught it only because he would’ve been playing about 4 or 5 steps closer in.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        I guess Lagares couldn’t physically catch Desmonds. That’s bunk. Read, react, glove, catch. He froze. He ended up playing it on a bounce where he was close but the poor read cost him. #Statcast is already showing night after night balls getting caught. Span gets great reads in. Some are better than others.

        The math on these catches and route efficiency is mind boggling. Guys making .1 reaction times and 12 to 18 mph speed with 90% route efficiency. Think of how many feet you lose if your reaction time is .3 or .4.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        Steve, There’s no defending Treinen for coming in and walking Cuddyer to load the bases.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 10:03 AM

        Joe, you’re right. Treinen’s job was to get Cuddyer out and he didn’t do that. His first 3 pitches were way out of the zone. No defending that and I’m not going to defend that.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 10:01 AM

        Agree with Joe. Cant walk the first man you see to push a runner to 3rd. Everything else was just like the Nats season. Easy play botched by Werth.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        http://m.mlb.com/news/article/121580818/statcast-blue-jays-outfielder-kevin-pillar-crashes-into-wall-in-cleveland-to-make-spectacular-catch

        Kevin Pillar who is the human highlight reel ran after this ball at 17.8 mph top speed. If you use that same speed which is slower than Taylor that breaks down to 26.1 feet per second and 2.61 feet per .1 second of reaction time. If Taylor’s reaction time was slow by .3 seconds that’s the equivalent to 8 feet. Without Statcast its guessing. He seemed to pull up about 5 feet away from where the ball hit the ground which also plays into it as you want to catch it on the run.

        You be the judge but the math supports speed and reaction time as you saw with Lagares.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 10:13 AM

        Rewatch it with a stop watch and get reaction time. I have .6.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        http://m.mlb.com/news/article/121580818/statcast-blue-jays-outfielder-kevin-pillar-crashes-into-wall-in-cleveland-to-make-spectacular-catch

        Kevin Pillar who is the human highlight reel ran after this ball at 17.8 mph top speed. If you use that same speed which is slower than Taylor that breaks down to 26.1 feet per second and 2.61 feet per .1 second of reaction time. If Taylor’s reaction time was slow by .3 seconds that’s the equivalent to 8 feet. Without Statcast its guessing. He seemed to pull up about 5 feet away from where the ball hit the ground which also plays into it as you want to catch it on the run.

        You be the judge but the math supports speed and reaction time as you saw with Lagares.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        http://m.mlb.com/news/article/121580818/statcast-blue-jays-outfielder-kevin-pillar-crashes-into-wall-in-cleveland-to-make-spectacular-catch

        Kevin Pillar who is the human highlight reel ran after this ball at 17.8 mph top speed. If you use that same speed which is slower than Taylor that breaks down to 26.1 feet per second and 2.61 feet per .1 second of reaction time. If Taylor’s reaction time was slow by .3 seconds that’s the equivalent to 8 feet. Without Statcast its guessing. He seemed to pull up about 5 feet away from where the ball hit the ground which also plays into it as you want to catch it on the run.

        You be the judge but the math supports speed and reaction time as you saw with Lagares.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        I just watched it again. Froze? How about he might have read it correctly and decided to play it for what it was: a base hit. He’s playing almost deep enough that you could call it a no doubles defense.Blame the great defensive coach for positioning him there.

        Regardless, as is often the case we don’t agree on an outfielding play, but that play didn’t cost the Nats the game. Even if you were right about that play, MAT is still a rookie, but that rookie probably had the best overall game of anybody in the Nats lineup last night. The kid played at lead off, got two hits off of Matt Harvey, and no one drove him in either time. He also made a great catch earlier. I think that you should direct your frustrations at somebody else for this game.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 10:21 AM

        No runs scored. None of the plays cost the win. The Cuddyer HR off Scherzer was the only run needed.

      • Doc - May 2, 2015 at 10:47 AM

        Correctomundo, Ghost!

        BP is coming along. Sure Treinen needs to work on command, particularly to LH hitters, but in the same quoted broadcast, Ron Darling said, “This guy (Treinen) has some of the best stuff in all of Major League Baseball.”

        By the way, as I stated last year about this time in the season, these Mets guys Gary Cohen, Darling, and Hernandez are good listening. They know baseball, and are good at communicating it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 10:59 AM

        Glad to hear a smart response. Thanks

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM

        Okay, Steve, can we take off our boxing gloves now?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        Sometimes I feel you argue for the fun of it.

  9. rlndtln - May 2, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    Why did MW not bring in Grace to face Murphy?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      He thought he was a GIDP away from inning over. Can’t blame him for that when his best sinker pitcher (next to Fister) was on the mound.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2015/05/01/ron-darling-on-stephen-strasburg-it-helps-to-be-a-grown-man-when-you-pitch/

    Strasburg should read this and do some deep soul searching. It’s the same old tired act. Facial expressions and body language say so much. Between Stras and Gio, it’s not fun to watch at times.

    I will say it was such a pleasure just watching Harvey and Scherzer last night. While they were pitching last night (prior to the 8th), I just enjoyed watching that game as a fan of the game of baseball.

    • Hiram Hover - May 2, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Honestly, I think people worry and complain about this too much.

      Darling is clearly one of those people. It’s a pet peeve of his, and he just used Stras as the occasion to go off about it.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 9:35 AM

        I agree. The sports psychology by Darling is also a tired act.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        It might be a tired act but read the comments from Nats fans. it seems to have struck a chord.

    • ehay2k - May 2, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Stras gave up 2 and got the win. To me, his body language showed he cared. I like guys who want to win. All this “soul searching” and “man up” crap should be aimed at Adrian Petersen and his ilk.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 9:59 AM

        At times its caring, like he said with Desmond, it wasnt a pleasant exchange towards his shortstop.

    • sec105rowwseat28 - May 2, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      It’s hard to deny the obvious change in Strasburg’s demeanor any time things go wrong behind him. He may or may not be rattled, but he always looks like he is. The comparison to Gio is off the mark. Gio always wears his heart on his sleeve be it good or bad. He doesn’t get rattled, he just gets mad at himself. Strasburg OTOH is more stoic than Ryan Zimmerman all the time, unless something bad happens. Then he immediately turns into Mr. Emotional.

      • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 10:10 AM

        Gio never shows up his teammates and thats the big difference but he does show up umps and thats not good.

    • Nats Fan Zee - May 2, 2015 at 11:13 AM

      HUGE difference between Strasburg and Gio … When things go wrong, SS seems pissed at the world giving the impression that it’s everybody’s fault but his. I was at the game last Sunday and when he left with the lead he was pissed, would not acknowledge the applause. Gio on the other hand gets pissed at himself … OFTEN. The end result is they are both emotional wrecks when it happens but for different reasons … It’s also the reason why then Stephen melts like an ice cream in July, he has to be pulled immediately. At least with Gio, sometimes he can calm down enough to settle in.

      • therealjohnc - May 2, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        Did anyone else notice that, after the two runs, Stras did NOT melt down, but instead blew away 10 straight batters with his best stuff of the night?

        Geez Louise

  11. Theophilus T.S. - May 2, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    I’ve been commenting about Strasburg’s peevishness for a couple of years, for which I’ve been hammered. It appears that the cumulative evidence has become too much to ignore. For a while I thought it was immaturity but this is now his sixth major league season and “maturity” should no longer be a factor. Of course, everything would be better if he were pitching better. Why is he so inconsistent? I don’t have an answer. Often the problem seems to be pitch selection — but even that is inconsistent. Some days people complain that he ignores his FB, other days people ask why he didn’t throw more changeups. This is a problem for the team that he shares with his catcher, pitching coach and manager. Can they find a plan and stick to it? There’ve been some pitchers — usually extraordinary ones — who essentially call their own game. I think Scherzer asserts much more influence over pitch selection. Whatever the problem, poor pitching seems to expose Strasburg’s ragged edges and the edges, in turn, affect his performance negatively. This is a team problem that needs to be fixed so that Strasburg’s personal issues don’t matter.

    • nats128 - May 2, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      Darling does mention it all the time.

  12. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Has anybody heard from sjm308 lately? I miss his mostly rational musings.

    • sjm308 - May 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM

      What do you mean “mostly rational”??
      Two more days in Amsterdam & then home.
      Internet not stellar but this last hotel is good
      Have not been able to stay on top of things which might have been a good thing the last few weeks
      Beer in Belgium was far better then our lads defense
      Beer in the Netherlands not great but I have found enough Belgian beer to survive.

      Doubt if Ghost will ever give in Joe but keep fighting the good fight. I am a Treinen fan myself but it’s been shaky.

      Had to laugh at so many comments on Danny over Ian the last day or so. When I left, Danny was getting crushed

      Relax, we got this – oh wait, that’s the Coffee Houses talking (if you have been here, you know what I mean)

      Thanks for thinking of me

      Go Nats!

      You can’t believe how many people have asked me about Wisconsin as I wear proudly either a Curly W or the Senators block W around Belgium & The Netherlands.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 2, 2015 at 12:43 PM

        I think ‘mostly rational’ was reasonable description.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 2:02 PM

        Glad you’re having a good time Coach. I forgot that you went to Europe. I’m jealous about the Belgium Ales, as to the Coffee Houses talking…oh, never mind.

  13. Eric - May 2, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    My favorite part of that article on Ron Darling’s armcl chair Psych 001?

    “(I didn’t watch the entire Mets broadcast, so it’s possible Darling praised him later in the game for “growing up” over the course of three innings.)”

    Darling’s spouting garbage, imo. So Stras doesn’t have a GQ-worthy gritty demeanor…who cares? If his attitude truly causes him to give up runs, that’s one thing, but “bad body language” in and of itself is meaningless.

    This is the same Stras that was a total beast down the stretch last season. So he had a couple of meh innings….he rebounded as well as you could ever expect.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      Eric, the biggest crybaby pitcher that I ever saw is in the Hall of Fame; none other than the O’s announcer and former Fruit of the Loom poster boy, Jim Palmer. Though Stras will never get as many W’s in the book as Palmer, he doesn’t hold a candle to Jim when it comes to bad body language.

      • natsdial8 - May 2, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        Jim Palmer probably remembers every pitch he ever threw, the count at the time and what the result was . He was exceptional .

      • Eric - May 2, 2015 at 12:13 PM

        That does support the theory that Darling is full of it on this point 😉

    • ICYMI - May 2, 2015 at 11:37 AM

      True, Strasbug can be a beast for good long stretches. It’s what he does when he’s not in Beast Mode that’s the problem. Has he ever turned from a thrower into a smart pitcher and gutted one out on a day when his stuff wasn’t all that brilliant? I can’t recall a single time that he did. If he doesn’t have his best stuff, all it takes is one bad AB and he just folds. Going forward, as he gets older there will naturally be more and more days when his stuff isn’t all there and he needs to be a pitcher to succeed. Can he do that? The jury is still out.

      • Eric - May 2, 2015 at 11:56 AM

        “Has he ever turned from a thrower into a smart pitcher and gutted one out on a day when his stuff wasn’t all that brilliant?”

        I’d say that’s exactly what he did on Thursday. His change up was not on and was being brutalized the first two innings, so he ditched it and was brilliant from the 3rd on.

      • Eric - May 2, 2015 at 12:36 PM

        PS – I agree he has frustrating runs of inconsistency. I just don’t think that’s because of a lack of mental fortitude or poutiness or something. I think it’s because sometimes he has trouble being consistent.

      • therealjohnc - May 2, 2015 at 3:52 PM

        He’s had a couple of games last year and early this season where he has not had his best stuff, been knocked about a bit/had misfortune, and rallied and kept the team in the game. But no one ever notices because we’ve committed to this narrative that Strasburg is a hothouse flower – so we just don’t process these games the wame way we do for Jordan Zimmermann. Because he’s “tough” and has “the glare,” etc., etc.

        I like both pitchers, and I’m glad they’re on the Nats. But a couple weeks ago someone referred to JZim as the “teflon pitcher” and that was absolutely correct.

  14. natsdial8 - May 2, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    I find you guys with the split second slo mo & stop watches very interesting but I don’t always appreciate you putting factual information in the way of what I am sure I saw 🙂 Good stuff keep it coming .

  15. Eugene in Oregon - May 2, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    “…the biggest crybaby pitcher that I ever saw is in the Hall of Fame; none other than the O’s announcer and former Fruit of the Loom poster boy, Jim Palmer. Though Stras will never get as many W’s in the book as Palmer, he doesn’t hold a candle to Jim when it comes to bad body language.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Which perhaps suggests that ‘bad body language’ is not a great indicator of ‘mental toughness’ or ‘cojones’ or ‘moral fiber’ or whatever people want to call it? I won’t deny that some people can’t keep a straight face when they’re upset (and it’s affecting them), but there are others who use their outward emotion to cleanse their minds and still others who can maintain a poker face even when their minds are racing (and affecting them in a negative way). I also recall that many posters here have gotten after players who failed to show enough negative emotion (e.g., Rafael Soriano). Baseball has plenty of stats for judging performance and those are much more reliable than trying to read someone’s facial expressions and body language.

  16. ogremj - May 2, 2015 at 12:09 PM

    To me, the 8th inning guys need to be Thornton and Barrett. Although I’ll never forget Barrett”s pitch to the backstop on the intentional walk in the DS, his stuff is nasty and he can be a shut down guy. From what I recall hearing, he had a case of the yips In the minors. Maybe if you give him a steady diet of high leverage situations now he can become comfortable in that role. Thornton’s an old guy and looks like he has ice water running through his veins. He looks dominant sometimes and less so others. I would like to see him pitch situationally in the 8th. Trienen, I don’t know, what can you say? I guess you give a guy with stuff like that as many chance as needed. Hopefully he puts it together.

    • ogremj - May 2, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      We’ll see how Janssen is. I hope Grace sticks, I’ve been impressed with him in limited viewing.

  17. exposremains - May 2, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Now we know the real value of Clippard.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 2, 2015 at 12:33 PM

      In 10 appearances, Tyler Clippard has 2 saves, 1 blown save, and 2 losses for the A’s. I’m not saying he would have performed the same way in Washington, but his ‘real value’ can better be measured in the sense that his market value (for one year of control) was two years (plus an option year, I believe) of Yunel Escobar.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 2, 2015 at 1:32 PM

        +1. The Clippard trade was a good trade.

      • infideljack - May 2, 2015 at 1:40 PM

        Bullseye. Trade Desi for an experienced reliever with 2 years of control plus an option year.

    • sec105rowwseat28 - May 2, 2015 at 3:22 PM

      Clippard wouldn’t have pitched in last night’s game, or in several of the other 8th inning meltdowns. MW (and Davey before him) only brought Clippard in when they had the lead.

  18. Joe Seamhead - May 2, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    In the Clippard/ Escobar trade we got value for value, imho. Though Tyler is sorely missed,I can’t imagine how much worse the Nats start to the season would’ve been without Yunel Escobar’s bat and versatility.

    infideljack, what reliever do you think might be available for Desi that meets your description? Even though it’s a business, I have a hard time thinking Mike Rizzo would trade Desi this year unless the Nats play themselves out of contention before the trade deadline.

    • infideljack - May 2, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      I think if we keep running Desi out there, we will be out of contention. But just my opinion. We have better options especially when Rendon gets back. RS/LS side Danny is a better defender and seems to be getting on base fairly consistently. This is a competitive business and needs to be based on merit not sympathy.
      I do not know who is available to be traded, maybe no one, in which case bench Desmond and use him as an injury sub. Right now, I would take a PTBNL.

      • infideljack - May 2, 2015 at 2:24 PM

        BTW, I am almost positive that the Nats will stick to Desmond til the bitter end regardless of results. Who knows he may hit his good streaks at exactly the right times and the errors won’t be too costly.

  19. harju - May 2, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Seems like Brewers are open for trading. Any interesting pieces there we should try to pursue? Maybe someone for bullpen?

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 2, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Maybe send them William Howard Taft for the Racing Bratwurst, but that’s about the only value I see there that would be worth pursing.

      • therealjohnc - May 2, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        I like Ramos, but Lucroy would look good in a Nats uniform. But of course he’s probably the one position player on that team the isn’t available.

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - May 2, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    Stars aplenty led by Gio, Ramos, Taylor, Bullpen, Desi, Werth, Espi, RZim, Bryce, Esco.

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