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Game 68: Pirates at Nats

Jun 19, 2015, 3:26 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

So, the Nationals have lost 14 of their last 20 games, and they were already without Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman in their lineup. And now they watched as Bryce Harper suffered what at first glance appeared to be a serious left leg injury Thursday night, though was officially announced after the game by manager Matt Williams as a “mild” hamstring strain.

The last thing this team needs right now is to face the hottest club in the majors, with a pitching staff putting up historic numbers at the moment, but that’s the situation staring them in the face. The Pirates come to town on an 8-game winning streak, with a rotation that has allowed one earned run during that streak. Yes, one.

So that’s the challenge tonight for the Nats, who won’t have Harper in the lineup — the real surprise would’ve been him playing — against veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett. Struggling Ian Desmond also gets only his second game of the season off, with Danny Espinosa at shortstop and Tyler Moore at first base. Rookie Joe Ross, meanwhile, makes what probably would be his final start for the Nationals before a likely demotion to the minors to clear space for Stephen Strasburg’s pending return next week.

Updates to come, so please check back…

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 9, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Chance of rain, 82 degrees, Wind 7 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (34-33)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Clint Robinson
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
1B Tyler Moore
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Joe Ross

PIRATES (39-27)
2B Josh Harrison
LF Starling Marte
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Jung Ho Kang
1B Pedro Alvarez
C Francisco Cervelli
RF Gregory Polanco
SS Jordy Mercer
RHP A.J. Burnett

UMPIRES
HP Mike Winters (cc)
1B Mike Muchlinski
2B Sean Barber
3B Mark Wegner

7:05 p.m. — This game is underway on a muggy Friday night in the District. Looks like it’s going to be a large crowd here, though there is plenty of black and gold sprinkled among the red in the stands.

7:26 p.m. — Well, how about that first inning from the Nats? It began with Joe Ross retiring the side, capped with a 3-pitch strikeout of notorious Nats-killer Andrew McCutchen (he had struck out only 18 times in 147 career plate appearances against Washington). Then the Nats manufactured two runs in the bottom of the inning off A.J. Burnett, with singles from Denard Span and Anthony Rendon (the latter a perfect hit-and-run), an RBI groundout from Yunel Escobar (with Rendon running on the pitch to help avoid a double play) and a 2-out double to right-center from Wilson Ramos. Pirates starters have not given up more than two runs in any of their last eight games. The Nats just got two in the first inning.

7:55 p.m. — The Nats had another golden opportunity in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with one out for Anthony Rendon. (That one out came when Ross failed to get a bunt down, which proved costly.) Rendon had homered three times off Burnett last year, but this time he grounded into a dagger of a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Prior to that, the Pirates strung together three singles off Ross, so the lead is down to 2-1 after two.

8:06 p.m. — How about Wilson Ramos tonight? He’s 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI hits, both of them sharp line drives to the big part of the field. That’s a really encouraging sign, and it has the Nats up 3-1 after three.

8:24 p.m. — Man, the Nats put 11 of their first 20 batters on base against Burnett, 10 of them via hits, but they only have three runs to show for it so far. Escobar had a chance to blow the game open in the bottom of the fourth, with the bases loaded and two out, but he grounded the first pitch he saw to third base to end the inning. Ross, meanwhile, has seven strikeouts (including four in a row) through four very impressive innings. Still 3-1 Nats.

8:40 p.m. — Make it 11 hits for the Nats in five innings, but still only three runs. You hope that doesn’t come back to haunt them. It won’t if they keep getting circus catches at the left field wall like Michael Taylor provided to end the top of the inning, robbing Josh Harrison of extra bases and an RBI. Ross now has nine strikeouts (a career-high, albeit in a brief career) through five. Still 3-1 Nats.

8:57 p.m. — Another man in scoring position for the Nats in the sixth, but they couldn’t bring him home. They’ve had 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position through six innings. They’ve gone 4-for-16 with three runs.

9:19 p.m. — Big insurance run for the Nats in the bottom of the seventh, with Espinosa roping an RBI triple off the wall in right-center. (Gregory Polanco face-planted the chain-link fence and had to leave the game.) So it’s 4-1 Nats as Ross takes the mound for the eighth sitting on 96 pitches and 11 strikeouts.

9:27 p.m. — Ross got a chance to pitch the eighth, but as soon as he allowed a 1-hit single, that was it for him. No worries, because David Carpenter finished the inning, giving him four scoreless appearances since joining the Nats bullpen. It remains 4-1 as Drew Storen begins to warm for the ninth.

9:41 p.m. — Ballgame. Storen notches his 20th save and the Nats win 4-1 behind a brilliant pitching performance from Joe Ross and a couple of opportunistic hits from a depleted lineup. They snap the Pirates’ 8-game win streak in the process.

170 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsfan1a - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    Go, NATS!!

  2. natsjackinfl - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    What do you know. Finally, Desmond takes a seat.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      After MWs postgame speech, I’d say this could be a benching. We will see if this is the 1 game variety or more.

      Bizarre is Taylor Hill is back in place of a pitcher going to the DL. What say what?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:34 PM

        Could be for Roark on Family Leave.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:44 PM

        Yep, Roark to family leave.

      • Nats_UrbanPlanner - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:54 PM

        Hopefully it’s a benching until his morale, hitting, fielding improves. Espi is MVP thus far.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:16 PM

        Harper is MVP

      • therealjohnc - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:05 PM

        Of course, how will you know whether Desmond’s morale, hitting and/or fielding improves if he’s not playing?

    • exposremains - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      One day is nothing..let see if he sits a few days.

    • senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      SO glad Desi is sitting, but I’d prefer to see:
      Rendon, 3B
      Escobar, SS
      Espinosa, 2B

  3. 3on2out - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Compare and contrast the lineup we projected during ST with this one:

    C Ramos/Ramos
    1B Zimmerman/Moore
    2B Escobar/Rendon
    SS Desmond/Espinosa
    3B Rendon/Escobar
    LF Werth/Taylor
    CF Span/Span
    RF Harper/Robinson

    These are the times that try men’s souls….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:38 PM

      That’s split squad and f****** ugly. The list of the highest paid players who came into Spring not ready or not 100% healthy is sickening. The fans deserve better than the effort we are witnessing. Better to not have played then to take a roster spot and hit near Mendoza levels.

      • therealjohnc - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:46 PM

        You can’t blame a player for not being 100% healthy. Well, I guess you can, but it’s rarely reasonable unless the players was being irresponsible in some way (injured while skydiving, etc.).

        I’ve never seen anything to indicate that any player came in “not ready” – if anything, I think it’s more likely that some players may have well come in over prepared. Beyond that, sometimes players just have crappy seasons. It’s not always because they’re bad people or irresponsible.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:02 PM

        When the “healthy” has to do with not disclosing issues and also not getting a surgery done by the deadline to be ready for the season it’s an issue.

        I will leave it at that without naming names.

      • Toot D. Blan - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:01 PM

        Blaming a player for not healing fast enough from an injury and going under the knife as a last resort. Wow, that’s a new low from someone who does nothing but spout off on this board like a nincompoop. I’ll not name the SOOTBLAN and leave it at that.

    • needanatsfix - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:44 PM

      I looked at the lineup and immediately checked the calendar to make sure this wasn’t March 19th instead of June 19th. Ouch

  4. therealjohnc - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    Rookie versus a pitcher with a WS resume and heading for an All-Star spot. Nats’ MVP candidate out of the lineup, with a career AAAA player hitting cleanup. Wow. I guess the only hope the Nats are putting out there is the “reverse lock” Levale Speigner vs. Johan Santana scenario?

    So be it … Go Nats!

    • nats128 - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:03 PM

      Im not going to bang the drum for the LOD but I have my concerns.

  5. ArVAFan - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    Now would be a really good time for Anthony to be the Anthony we knew and loved last year (instead of an “OMG not another GIDP”. But of course we’d have to have someone on base in front of him for that to happen.)

  6. Nats_UrbanPlanner - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    Almost a AAA roster; wow, if the Nats can pull off 2-3 this weekend I will eat crow. If they win 1 I’ll take that as a MAJOR victory. Pitching going to need to carry this series, if we can keep games 1-2 or 2-3 we have a chance. But that’s a BIG if.

    Out of broadcast area this weekend but following on my phone. Go Nats!

  7. nats128 - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:08 PM

    Joe Ross tonight, Max Scherzer on Saturday and Gio Gonzalez on Sunday. Yah, I would say 2 out of 3 would be a minor miracle considering that Charlie Morton on Sunday is on a shutout streak and pitching out of his mind and same tonight for AJ Burnett.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 10:42 PM

      You have no faith in Max. I had faith in Joe he helped me clean up in draft kings

  8. texnat1 - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:18 PM

    Ghost or anyone,

    What was MW’s speech last night? I missed it.

  9. therealjohnc - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    Heh. I think that MZ’s tweet about the lineup was supposed to say “Bryce Harper’s not in lineup as expected” (emphasis added). But “depleted” sure works!

  10. richardp6 - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    If there ever was a time for the Nats to play small ball this is it. They need to be uber aggressive tonight on the bases, take long counts in the box, and get that man in from 3rd some how some way.

    • donniebenth - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      I agree. For the most part, this is about the best lineup that MW could throw out there. The one change I would make would be to completely roll the small ball dice and replace Robinson with den Dekker. Get your best defensive alignment out there, get em on, get em over, get em home.

  11. deftndumb - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    Bring it, Joe.

  12. Section 222 - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    Sorry not to see MW try Esco at SS, TTB at 3B, and Espi at 2B.

    This series could be ugly if the Pirates stay hot. Burnett and Morton have been lights out recently. Fingers crossed for Harper’s quick recovery.

    • jd - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:15 PM

      Deuces,

      I am really surprised on how entrenched Escobar is at 3rd base. He’s a career short stop, I can’t believe 2 people have to play out of position to keep him at 3rd base where he’s not that good.There’s something weird going on here and I don’t understand it.

      • Section 222 - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:23 PM

        I agree jd. Rendon is so much better than him at 3B it’s not even funny. And he’s not as sure handed at 2B as Espi. Maybe MW thinks having your best fielder at SS is more important, which of course, makes you wonder about Desi staying there….

      • senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:38 PM

        Agreed

      • Toot D. Blan - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:24 PM

        Perhaps MW feels that Rendon has not been as good at third base this year as he was last year. Case in point: the play at third against NYY where Rendon did not create a throwing lane for Desmond, whereas Escobar did create a throwing lane on a similar play last night. Perhaps MW feels that of all these guys, Escobar would be the least adaptable to being moved around position to position mid-season. If Escobar is indeed the worst fielder of the three, that would make sense. But as you say, who knows? Why not just celebrate that at last, finally, Desmond is not in the lineup? Baby steps.

      • rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:06 PM

        Toot.As I told you before Escobar was traded to play second.Anthony is miles better and it would be like moving Brooks Robinson to second for an average 3rd baseman.Last night you fail to mention the horrendous throw Esc made.His arm strength is not near as Anthony.His reflexes on a hard hit ball that Anthony may have caught.This is stupid but what can you expect from MW.

  13. infideljack - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    I will wait for the results of next few games. If we can hold our own with this group until late July, we are on our way to big things.

    • adcwonk - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:17 PM

      Taking a long range, patient, look !?!

      • npb99 - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:08 PM

        I agree, outrageous. Kick this guy out of the blog!

      • Eric - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:30 PM

        +1!!!

        ::: grabs pitchfork :::

  14. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    I hope this line up shocks the world… and Bucs… go nats go

    PS Get well soon Bryce… the team needs you…

  15. Karl Kolchak - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    What can you say? Take Harper and Scherzer off this team and they are essentially back to 2008-2009.

    Literally–Harper & Scherzer’s combined bWAR is over 9.0. Take nine wins away and put them in the loss column and the Nats would be 25-42, which is a 101 loss pace.

    • senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM

      Yo, KK — Is your moniker from the Nightstalker?

      • deftndumb - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:48 PM

        He’s totally the Nightstalker! Catch him on Netflix!

  16. veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    So, Espi is a natural 2nd baseman, Rendon is a natural 3rd, and Escobar is a SS. What the f***?

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:28 PM

      Espi came up in minors as SS, no?

      • veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:57 PM

        Yeah, but he’s played mostly 2nd since being a Nat.

  17. Toot D. Blan - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    Blaming a player for not healing fast enough from an injury and going under the knife as a last resort. Wow, that’s a new low from someone who does nothing but spout off on this board like a nincompoop. I’ll not name the SOOTBLAN and leave it at that.

  18. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Joe Ross throws no changeups. All sinkers and sliders. Hung one to Marte that he just missed. No fear of McCutcheon.

    • veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:12 PM

      Yet

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:12 PM

        Well, yes. Not yet. I’m sure he will.

  19. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    Year I missed what Wms. said last night that might have presaged Desmond’s seat on the bench. I know what I would have said but it probably wouldn’t have been reported accurately.

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Look at that, a run and hit! Rendon finds outfield grass!!!!

  21. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    2 good at bats to start the game… lets keep this up…

  22. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    Look at that. Smart ball in the 1st inning.

  23. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    Small ball…. in the first… oh my heart…

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Nats will get Burnett over 20 pitches in the 1st.

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    Burnett needs no help blue!

  26. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Ross will inevitably stumble but I hope it isn’t tonight. If he survives tonight I would like to see Rizzo do some fancy roster maneuvers and keep Ross, skipping Gonzalez’s next start. Some of these players need to learn come face-to-face with their non-essentiality.

  27. veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    ARoid 3000th hit is a HR. Cheater.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      Does he get the ball back? That’s worth a ton even though he was a cheater.

      • veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:39 PM

        Saw the guy who got the ball. I’m sure he’ll expect a large payment from the Yanks, and if not, he’ll EBAY it and get paid. Almost a small lottery win.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:42 PM

        The fact he’s in the 500/3000 club and that’s #3000 and it was a HR, it’s worth a ton. Good luck to the guy that caught it. For most players, you say give it to the player.

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    I go high heater here.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:34 PM

      Great slider in the dirt. He showed him the changeup too so he was thinking. One changeup in the books.

  29. Toot D. Blan - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    Blaming a player for not healing fast enough from an injury and going under the knife as a last resort. Wow, that’s a new low from someone who does nothing but spout off on this board like a nincompoop. I’ll not name the SOOTBLAN and leave it at that.

  30. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:37 PM

    With Bryce in RF, Kang stays at 2nd base. That changes the dynamics. CRob lumbers to the ball and had no chance.

  31. manassasnatsfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Come on Ross we gave the starter another lead, don’t give it back.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      Only part of it. BABIP’d by those grounders.

  32. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    TyMo and Taylor. TnT

  33. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    That can’t happen. Can’t happen. This isn’t the John Lannan days. Nats pitchers MUST learn how to bunt. You don’t move up in the Cardinals organization as a Minor League pitcher until you show you can bunt.

    • rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      This why we are a poor fundamental team.That cost us 2 runs.Pathetic.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:53 PM

        1 for sure, 2 probably, and maybe more. The whole dynamics change with different situations.

  34. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Because Ross couldn’t get the bunt down he cost the Nats at least 1 run.

    • rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:52 PM

      2 runs

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:01 PM

      I’m glad I missed it…. yikes rendon though….

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:02 PM

        That’s BABIP. Sometimes they find holes, sometimes they don’t.

  35. Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    Face meet palm

  36. manassasnatsfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Zim is on the DL. Seems Rendon has taken up the slack of double plays that zim would hit in too.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      Oddly Rendon leads the team in GIDP/AB with 4 in 56 ABs, but RZim way out in front with 10 GIDPs compared to the next closest is Yunel Escobar with 7.

  37. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Clint E with a key at bat there…. doing the right things…. keep it up guys..

  38. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Ramos 2 for 2 with RISP.

  39. natsjackinfl - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    Aside from the score, my favorite part of this game is that Desmond hasn’t made his typical critical error or struck out with men in scoring position.

  40. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    Joe’s slider is on 100 today…

  41. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    Lol.. wow…. congrats Joe R.. hahahah

  42. Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    Wth is Denard thinking there… Just wasting runs

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:22 PM

      Yeah I said a few unpleasant things about that at bat too…

  43. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:23 PM

    BAD WORDS…. LOTS AND LOTS OF BAD WORDS…

  44. Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    Incapable of breaking a game open. Left 3-4 easy ones out there tonight.

  45. rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    We just can not break open this game.Could be up 5 or 6 easy.

  46. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    That ball needs to be caught by Espinosa as shallow as that way. Once again, a non-error non-play opens up the door with a lead-off double that should have been an out.

  47. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Holy ships! MAT saves the day and picks up Span/Espi on that pop-up that wasn’t caught.

  48. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Definite mistake pitch right there… yikes, that had catastrophe written all over it…

    Whew MAT… whew

  49. hummel26 - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    It’s just three games, but I think the Nats have to hang onto Ross. Too many holes in the rotation next year, and Gio is becoming very inconsistent. No guarantees that Giolito or anyone else will be the answer (even if they look good, you never know). I know Boswell wrote a column that the Nats need to overpay to solve their bullpen crisis, but I think there are issues throughout the roster: an on-again, off-again offense, shaky starters, a weak bench, and several key players who are aging or injury prone. Giving up a starting pitcher this year seems very risky.

  50. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:38 PM

    Pirates have a much different strategy to pitch Clint Robinson than the Rays did the last 2 games.

  51. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Another ball way out of the zone called a strike.

  52. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    Kang sees slider, slider, slider, and fastball freezes him.

    10K

  53. TheBigDummy - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    So this kid Joe Ross seems like a keeper..

  54. senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    In spite of the hits, Joe Ross looks like he belongs in the bigs. Stays cool. Makes his pitches. Challenges hitters. Ok, a little more seasoning, but he’s stating a pretty good case to challenge for a rotation spot next year, or even this year if a Nats starter is out for a period. Nats have to hold onto him.

    • npb99 - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      Didn’t we also get some shortstop prospect in the Joe Ross trade?

      • senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:07 PM

        Trea Turner, who some believe will be an excellent major league SS.

      • npb99 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:24 PM

        I was kidding.

  55. nattyboh - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    How in the world can we send this guy back down?

  56. letswin3 - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    I normally don’t post during games, but I just want to know how Rizzo could ever send this kid back down when Stras returns? He can pitch.

    • hummel26 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:01 PM

      Agree 100 percent. Don’t send him down, don’t put him in a trade.

  57. natslive - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    Only his 3rd start but I am really liking this Ross kid so far

  58. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    That looked outside. …. hey Twin, can you post the Call hurts/helps please?

  59. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    MW getting aggressive.

  60. Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    Wow… Create a run…

  61. rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    Rendon is killing us with RIP.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:01 PM

      He’s still in Spring Training mode.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 10:48 PM

        Spring training is over. He has been up 60 times, that is more than most get in spring training.

  62. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    86 pitches. Time to get that bullpen warming.

  63. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:02 PM

    Should have gone to talk to him after losing the batter… slow things down…

  64. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:02 PM

    Need a pitcher’s best friend doubleplay here or a K.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      Way to come back with the K. Nice pitch. Love the confidence in burying it in the dirt on a slider for Strike 3.

  65. hummel26 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Walk to Alvarez. One more gets on and get him out of there.

  66. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Need a DP here…. do it Joe!

  67. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    EXCELLENT JOB JOE…. EXCELLENT..

    *round of applause*

  68. deftndumb - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    Way to go, Joe!

  69. Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:06 PM

    Sadly still thinking how are we going to blow it tonight….?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:09 PM

      Nah…. Carpenter and Storen are going to shut it down tonight…

      • scmargenau - Jun 20, 2015 at 12:06 AM

        Yup. Nailed it

  70. natslive - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:06 PM

    SS turns a DP!

  71. rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:06 PM

    Desi will sit awhile.I said before Ross start,Nats can pick any of 3 to sit and keep Ross.Stras,Gio and Fister.What a pleasure watching a guy throw strikes and not bitching and moaning like Gio.We are idiots if he does not stay in rotation.

    • hummel26 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      It would speak volumes to the team if Ross got a slot in the rotation because it will reward effectiveness.

      • senators69 - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:15 PM

        Not this year unless a starter is (a) really sucking or (b) hurt…but next year…who knows.
        I know I’d like to see more of Ross this year!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:22 PM

        Just doing a who would you below.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:12 PM

      Aight Espi.. way to go….

      Yikes, hope Plano is ok….

  72. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Espi just keeps delivering.

  73. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    Aight Espi… way to go….

    Yikes, hope Polanco is ok….

  74. veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:14 PM

    Espinosa

  75. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:14 PM

    Ahh hell, I just inadvertently reported 3 of my own comments. Sorry Mark…. please disregard…

    My phone froze and yeah.. sorry about that.

  76. veejh - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Including Ross in a Chapman deal would be foolish. I’m expecting the worst this year and it seems that mortgaging the possible future right now to win might be stupid. Small sample size, but Ross seems legit.

    • Tyler Babip - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:21 PM

      +1 Ross looks like a keeper. This game feels like a proper Nationals game.

  77. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    I don’t agree with him starting the 8th. Hope I’m wrong…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:23 PM

      Agreed. Now you have a man on 1st and 1 out. I like to give relievers clean innings.

  78. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    Who do you choose as your #4 and #5 pitchers between Joe Ross, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez

    • natslive - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:24 PM

      I would have Ross and Stras with Gio as a lefty out of the BP……send Barrett or Treinen down

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:26 PM

        Barrett is already out on the DL. I just don’t know if Gio would be worth putting in the pen. I would do as I suggested and trade Gio straight up for Chapman.

  79. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Joe Ross out for the 8th. There better be a short leash.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:23 PM

      My dad said…. let the kid finish…. I dont trust this BP…

    • Nats Fan Zee - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:24 PM

      Oh boy … Matt Williams roulette … again

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:25 PM

        Leash was short. If he didn’t get through it he was gone.

  80. Nats Fan Zee - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:22 PM

    I just got back from a neighborhood party to discover that EVERYONE in the lineup got a hit tonight! Blessings of having deserving folks play their positions (almost, I would have had Rendon 3B, Escobar SS & Espinosa 2B) and “resting” a slumping vet. With adjustments mentioned, I like this lineup! (at least until Bryce gets back).

  81. rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Rendon at 3rd,Espi ss. and Escobar 2nd.How can you not keep this kid in the rotation.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:27 PM

      I will admit to being very panicky (that’s not a word, I dont think) about the rotation next year, given its a good chance that Jordan won’t be back..

      But Joe Ross gives me hope. I also hope he doesn’t get traded for Chapman.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Ross reminds of Mussina. Hope he keeps it up.

  82. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:27 PM

    Nice going Carpenter for a Hold!

  83. Dannyellinosa - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    Joe Ross. Can’t wait for your next start.

  84. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    Marco Estrada (former Nat) had a no-hitter into the 8th vs Oreos. Ended in the 8th. Oreos Twitter sending out jinx tweets.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:34 PM

      Actually the Oreos MASN twitter

  85. Joe Seamhead - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    We’re at the park. The catch Taylor made earlier was terrific, not to mention it bailed Span out for his goof. Ross has established himself as being pretty special,eh?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:37 PM

      What happened to Span happens but Espi needed to be there. It wasn’t deep. It bailed both of them out.

  86. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Barves just took a 2-1 lead in the 8th

  87. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    The guy who caught Trout’s 1st HR ball was the guy who caught ARod’s 3000th hit which was a HR. He is an amazing ball hawk that travels the country and has a 6th sense for where to be when the HRs land.

    That ball isn’t going back to ARod.

  88. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    See Danny… I knew this was going to happen.. 😆😆😆

    • Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      Wooooo!

  89. rlndtln - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    It all starts with a good starting pitched game.You can play from ahead.The defense plays great when you throw strikes.

  90. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    That was a nice win. Energy, hustle, MW kept the runners moving which proved big. Joe Cool was cool! Ramos the hitting star tonight.

  91. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 19, 2015 at 9:49 PM

    So I was out, and couldn’t watch. How bad did this AAAA lineup get beaten? I know there was no chance.

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