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Nats roll to 9th straight win over Atlanta

Jul 1, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

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There was a time, really not all that long ago, when any victory by the Nationals over the Braves was cause for celebration, something to be savored given how rare it was.

Not so much anymore. These days, anything other than a win over Atlanta is cause for concern, as if something must be wrong with the Nats.

With a 6-1 victory Tuesday night at Turner Field, the Nationals continued to flip the script that had brought about so much consternation the last few years. They’ve now beaten the Braves in nine straight games, a streak that began April 28 with a certain record-setting, come-from-behind, 13-12 victory capped by Dan Uggla’s towering home run.

Are the Braves a far different team now than they were in 2013 and early 2014, when they owned the Nationals? Sure. But they’re still a big-league club, and nine straight wins over any big-league club is a noteworthy accomplishment.

So is taking down one of the NL’s best pitchers the way the Nats took down Shelby Miller on Tuesday. The 24-year-old right-hander entered this start boasting a 1.94 ERA and an impressive run of consistency, having allowed two or fewer earned runs in 13 of his 15 starts to date.

The Nationals, of course, piled up five runs off Miller, the most he has surrendered this season. And they pounced on him early, scoring four runs in the top of the first.

How rare was that? Well, in 15 previous starts this season, Miller had given up a grand total of one first-inning run, with only three hits surrendered in 46 at-bats. Four of the Nationals’ first six batters on Tuesday recorded hits off him, with Denard Span and Danny Espinosa setting the tone and then Clint Robinson delivering the big blast to cap off the rally.

All of which made life easier on Jordan Zimmermann, who cruised and continues to look more and more like the dominant right-hander we’ve come to expect over the last few seasons

With 7 2/3 scoreless innings, Zimmermann continued his mastery of the Braves. His total pitching line over his last two starts (both against Atlanta): 15.2 IP, 12 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K.

Most impressive about Zimmermann’s latest outing: He threw strikes. A whole boatload of them. Zimmermann’s 85 strikes thrown Tuesday matched his career-high (set June 20, 2013 vs. the Rockies) and trailed only three pitchers in Nationals history: Livan Hernandez (93 strikes on July 31, 2005 vs. the Marlins), Esteban Loaiza (87 strikes on Sept. 4, 2005 vs. the Phillies) and Max Scherzer (86 strikes in his 1-hitter at Milwaukee two weeks ago).

So that’s no small accomplishment for Zimmermann, who lowered his ERA to 3.16, better than his career mark entering 2015.

Zimmermann’s lights-out performance extended the Nationals’ run of dominant starting pitching. The rotation now owns a 1.69 ERA over the last 10 games (nine of them wins). Throw out Tanner Roark’s rough outing Sunday in a spot start necessitated by the rainout in Philadelphia, and that ERA plummets to 0.68.

Is it any wonder the Nationals are enjoying every opportunity they have to face the Braves right now?

  1. masterfishkeeper - Jul 1, 2015 at 6:07 AM

    Actually, they scored 4 runs in the top of the first, not 2.

  2. pchuck69 - Jul 1, 2015 at 6:11 AM

    >>With a 5-1 victory Tuesday night at Turner Field…

    6-1

  3. 3on2out - Jul 1, 2015 at 6:14 AM

    And they won 6-1 not 5-1. I think Mark posted this half asleep…

    • ArVAFan - Jul 1, 2015 at 6:32 AM

      Nah. He might have been half-asleep when he wrote it, but I’m guessing he was sound asleep when it was posted automatically this a.m. Maybe he wanted to get some shut-eye in before last night’s storm, and went to bed before the last run scored? (Just teasing, Mark).

  4. homeparkdc - Jul 1, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    Fred Frommer provides a great history lesson from the 1920’s. Go Nats !

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/d.c.-vs.-n.y.-a-forgotten-rivalry-revived/

    • ArVAFan - Jul 1, 2015 at 7:33 AM

      Thank you for that link.

      Favorite quote: “Harris and his players are liked everywhere because they are young and dashing and enthusiastic,” The New York Times commented. “New York is hated because it has won too many pennants and possesses too much money and is too powerful.” (1920’s).

      Some things don’t change.

  5. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    There were many in Atlanta who were saying that Shelby Miller was the best pitcher in the NL and while he was top 5, the Nats hit him around enough that he was removed from the conversation which now becomes a debate of just Scherzer and Greinke.

    Bruce Bochy gets to make the call on who starts the All Star game and SF fans would be livid if he chose a Dodger to start the All Star game.

    • virginiascopist - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      Someone on ESPN last night was saying it should be Gerrit Cole from the Pirates.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:13 AM

        Sure, as the 4th pitcher of the game as Jacob deGrom is the 3rd pitcher.

    • bowdenball - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:39 AM

      Scherzer obviously deserves to start the All-Star Game, but I’d love to see Bochy throw Bumgarner out there against the mostly Royals lineup that will start the game for the AL. It would be such a great troll move after the voting debacle. “Congratulations Royals fans- you just spent countless hours voting on the internet only to spend a half hour being reminded of the guy who absolutely owned your team last October and kept you from winning a World Series.” Then bring out Scherzer to face the much tougher AL lineup in the 3rd and 4th innings.

      I’m sure they won’t do it, but it would be a hilarious move.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:29 AM

        I like that idea!

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Z’nn was looking good, and the chop was kept to a minimum (yay). Speaking of which, maybe it was the camera angle, there was some dude doing the chop near Storen while he was warming up in the 9th. Maybe it’s just me, and maybe it wasn’t related, but the look on Drew’s face was kinda funny (like, “Really?”).

    • natsfan1a - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:12 AM

      production staff, please insert “but it looked like” after “angle,”

  7. rayvil01 - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Last night was such a regression for Desi. He had a decent weekend staying on balls, shortening his swing, and going the other way. Then last night everything was from the heels. He was pulling off the ball so badly he didn’t have a chance. I’ve seen that pattern in the past. He’ll get on the program long enough to get some results, then reverts to “Hit it hard.”

    I’m a golf instructor. Every tour pro is looking at the club go through the ball. Most amateurs pull their head up and off the ball early. It’s a fatal flaw. You have to stay home. What Desi is doing is so fundamentally bad it’s aggravating. That was an 8 or 9-0 game if he hits a single or two instead of trying to go Downtown and whiffing badly.

    I hope MW puts Desi’s stubborn butt on the bench for a day or two.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:19 AM

      rayvil, golf instructor? I made multiple references in-game last night to Desi and golf.

      Sad to watch. We all hoped he was ready to go en fuego.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:41 AM

        Yep. Have to keep the head at home to hit the ball well. Golf, baseball…that’s why it’s called “Hand-eye” coordination. Without the eye there’s nothing to coordinate.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM

        But no.

    • Guapo - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      Games like last night are such a great window in the approach problems Desmond has.

      With a 6-0 score the Nats didn’t need a home run. They didn’t ever really need more runs. Desmond’s opportunity there was to work on his game. Runners on pitcher out of the stretch. How about looking for something middle/out to stroke the other way. Maybe use it as an opportunity to sharpen your mechanics and pad the lead.

      Nope. Swing from the heels. Pull the entire front side out to third base and miss center cut pitches.

      I always hear the org/announcers talk about how great an athlete #20 is and I believe it’s true. That athleticism must be the only things that’s put him in the majors for so long, because he seems to be one of the dumbest players I’ve seen at any level.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:14 AM

        MW was on the MLB Network Radio at 8:45 and was asked about Desi and MW said his problem last night was swinging at the fastballs at his eyes. Sure, that was part of the problem.

  8. laddieblahblah - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    What happened to Desi’s selective, patient approach? The Golden Sombrero on only 16 pitches, meaning it took the Braves an average of only 4 pitches to record each strikeout. I didn’t see many of Desi’s ABs this weekend, but I suspect that 450′ homer got into his head.

    I looked at the box of the Phillies game that Strasburg pitched, and he saw 26 pitches in 4 PAs, or an average of 6.5 pitches per PA. I saw 2 of those ABs, the 2nd and the 4th. In his 2nd AB Desi took the first 4 pitches. He refused to swing at pitches outside the zone or a pitcher’s pitch inside of it. He got into a 3-1 hitter’s count, and was rewarded with a very hittable hanger which he finally swung at and ripped into the LF corner for what would have been a double, but was held to a single when Cody Asche (I think it was Cody) made a nifty backhand stab of the short hop, and held Desi to a single.

    In his 4th AB, Desi again took the first 3 pitches and got himself into a 2-1 hitter’s count, and was rewarded with an even fatter hanger than he got in his 2nd AB. He turned on that thing and crushed it deep into the LF bleachers, but pulled it just foul. On the following 2-2 pitch they started him out with a pitch on the black of the outer half, and down – it looked an awful lot like they were going to the breaker down and away to finish him off. Desi laid off that one, too, but it was not a breaker. It was a swing-back FB that broke over the heart of the plate at the very last, for a called strike 3.

    That last AB told me that the Phils had noticed the change in Desi’s approach at the plate and felt compelled to adjust to it. Desmond was hitting like a professional hitter and some really good things were happening for him. I figured he was on his way.

    Then the loud HR (looked to be a FB right down Broadway), followed by yesterday’s fiasco. I am not ready to give up, but someone has got to go over this ABs and show him why he got that FB down the middle, in the first place. Yesterday he got himself out by repeatedly swinging at pitches that he simply could not hit.

    Same old, same old, and not encouraging for either Desi or for Nats fans.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:47 AM

      I agree 100%, laddie. It was just plain ugly. Between his hitting approach and his fielding mistakes, it has reached a point that a change is in order, especially when Anthony Rendon returns,There are 3 infield positions, 5 middle infielders. Desmond has regressed in the pecking order to # 4 at best.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:18 AM

        “Yesterday he got himself out by repeatedly swinging at pitches that he simply could not hit.”

        As I wrote above MW was on the MLB Network Radio show this morning and was asked about Desi’s multiple Ks and he said that the batting approach for all players was to stay off Miller’s fastball that was at your eyes and off the plate and Desi didnt do that.

        Bryce in the 1st inning was thrown fastballs off the plate and did the same thing and K’d but Bryce adjusted and got back to hunting strikes.

      • homeparkdc - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:20 AM

        Here’s a “clubhouse pool” that no one will start: With 25 games to be played in July, in how many games will Ian Desmond be wearing a Nationals’ uni?

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        25. That’s a guarantee. Although it’s no guarantee that he will start or even play in all of them.

  9. Doc - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    From Braves’scouts to Braves announcers: “Desmond will swing at anything”.

    Also, from the same crew, they kept harping on Harper (unintentional pun) not running out pop flies down the line.

    I just assumed, since I hadn’t read anything here, that it was because of his hamstring. Anybody??

    • virginiascopist - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:42 AM

      Our announcers speculated about Harper not running out the pop fly (and I’m pretty sure it was only one, the sac fly) also, as in maybe he figured it was foul or a home run, neither of which seems right to me. I was thinking maybe he thought there were two outs, not one, but even that doesn’t make sense. And I can’t imagine it was his hamstring either. I’d love to know Harper’s explanation.

      • natsdial8 - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:54 AM

        Usually two possibilities when players hit extended slumps because of poor mechanics or poor approach , and are not injured.
        1) Coaches fail to see it . ( hard to believe)
        2) player refuses to listen .

        Good solution in most cases “bench em” 🙂

    • rayvil01 - Jul 1, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      That Braves’ announcing crew is nasty. People complain about FP and Bob, but FP and Bob will give credit to the other team when it’s due. That Atlanta bunch doesn’t do that.

      • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:14 AM

        The present crew is horrid

      • iconicwoodencap - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:47 AM

        I remember last year (I think, not sure of the details) Michael A Taylor was in one of his first appearances. Made a fielding gaff (or 2?) Braves announcers said “We’ll have to call him Michael “E” Taylor. ) Ugh.

        They’re not making fun of him this year…..

    • bowdenball - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM

      I’m not sure what there was to run out. There was a runner on first base waiting to tag up, something nobody who commented on this mentioned last night for some reason. I guess he could have gone another 20 feet or so up the line? Hard to imagine something less important than where a guy stands on the first base line as he waits for his fly ball to be caught.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:20 AM

        Still jog 60 feet so you dont feed the trolls. It quickly becomes negative news.

      • bowdenball - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:27 AM

        If Harper spilled a drop of gatorade in the dugout some loudmouth ex-player would be chiding him for it on Sportscenter or MLB Network. He has rightfully tuned out the talking heads who will always manufacture reasons to criticize him; fans would be well-served to do the same. If his manager and teammates have a problem with something he does they’ll let him know.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:18 AM

        +34

      • natsdial8 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:20 AM

        ++ 34

  10. scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Interesting scenario could come into play… what if Desi accepts the QO (and you have to make one to get the pick no matter how horrid he is playing) to play for 1 year and rebuild his value? Would we get more value in a trade for him once his salary increases and (from my meager understanding) you don’t get a pick when he leaves to sign elsewhere?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:49 AM

      No player has ever accepted a QO under the current system. That said, some should have done so. And I’m sure that GMs worry that one of their players could be the first.

      • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:52 AM

        And I bet Rizzo is worrying right now

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        Agreed. Although with over half the season left, I suspect that’s pretty low on his list of immediate concerns. Personally, I hope Ian Desmond has a monster second half, puts such concerns to rest, and signs a nice, long-term contract with an American League team. Win-win.

      • catcher50 - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:43 AM

        This is where it becomes really tricky. Desi has been linked to the NYY, for some time, now. Won’t be the guy who succeeds Jeter (that train already left and can’t get a head of steam). This may be Rizzo’s biggest trade/non-trade. Apparently, Turner is almost ready to come up (Sept) and between Espi, Escobar, Rendon, w/ Manny Burriss as back-up, a trade at the end of July could make a lot of sense. Much of whether he’ll pull the trigger will depend on what he’s offered. Clip + ?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:32 PM

        I don’t think that it would break the Nats’ hearts if Desmond accepted a QO. You get one season to see whether he can recover his mojo, with no long term commitment. Because there’s no long term commitment, it doesn’t really affect the team’s ability to extend other players or sign free agents going forward.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        +20 to therealjohnc

  11. Theophilus T.S. - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Agree w/ BowdenBall on this one. And I do believe it was the hamstring. When it counted — in the OF, or in stretching a single into a double — he let it all out. But on the flyball there was no point in risking aggravation of the injury. Ramos has had a pass on running out ground balls all season long but, when there is a reason, e.g, a possible infield hit, he goes hard. Where hamstrings (or quads) are concerned — and when injury is concerning — I have no problem giving the player a pass. What’s more important, a flash of futile hustling or three or more weeks on the DL?

    • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      He didnt have to go Pete Rose to 1st base on a routine flyout just jog it out.

    • natsdial8 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      Theo is on this one –

  12. rayvil01 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    So the Nats end the month of June at 15-12. After the Friday June 12 Milwaukee game they were 3-8 for the month. They went 12-4 from there on out.

    To salvage a month after the way it started is pretty good. Best thing now is that the starters all seem to be hitting stride.

    • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:41 AM

      Good points.

  13. natsjackinfl - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    I guess I am going back to referring to Desmond as the “Big Tease” except for the fact that he is what he is. If ever there was a living, breathing description of inconsistent, it most certainly would be Ian Desmond.

    He hurts the ball club easily as much as he helps it. Having him flail away at almost any pitch in any count can’t be much help for poor Michael A. Taylor standing in the on deck circle.

    • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:23 AM

      The good news batters 1 to 6 took care of business last night.

    • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      Actually this year he has been the model of consistency. Horrible at the plate and an error every other game of so, maybe every third. Pulling his head off breaking pitches, swinging thru high heat. Pretty darn consistent so far. What I’m hoping for is some inconsistency.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 1, 2015 at 9:45 AM

      Actually, it’s a great help to Taylor. It gives him an up close and personal view of what NOT to do if you want to succeed in this league.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:35 AM

        And to be sure, he seems to be taking the lesson to heart. So there’s that.

        Everybody has a contribution to make, even if it’s only to serve as a cautionary example.

  14. nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    Bryce’s 1st AB with Espinosa standing on 3rd and 1 out

    • therealjohnc - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      Pitch #4 was certainly within the zone that the plate umpire was calling last night, and #3 might well have been also. I don’t think Bryce needed to swing at #3, but given the zone he pretty much had to hack at #4. Otherwise it’s just another walk back to the dugout feeling aggrieved because of the umpire’s zone.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:39 PM

        How would you know that? Pitch #4 was the 12th pitch of the ballgame and he got not 1 called strike up to that point . Do you have a crystal ball?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        You don’t think they have scouting reports on umpires?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 1, 2015 at 12:43 PM

        It also puts aside the possibility that, after he hacked at Pitch #3, Harper could well have asked the ump if that was a strike and been told yes. That conversation happens all the time as batters feel out the strike zone.

  15. micksback1 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    The only offensive liabilty on the team is Desi. He is playing himslef out of any offer and I know from Mark and other sources the Nats will offer him a $10 million dollar one year contract for 2016. A win win for Nats, if Desi declines, nats get compensation wherever he signs. If Desi accepts, it gives him a chance to redeem himslef in 2016.

    Frankly, the Nats need to unload him and get something for him, if there are any buyers.

    Other than that, nats right now are the 2nd or 3rd best in NL and top five in MLB. I could see a Cards-Nats NLCS. i hope Desi is gone by then as I feel he would really do something ina playoff game that would make Storen’s 2012 collapse look pale.

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:17 AM

      Mick. The qualifying offer to get compensatory pick will be in the neighborhood of $15 million. A $10 for one year won’t get anything.

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      Mick. The qualifying offer to get compensatory pick will be in the neighborhood of $15 million. A $10 mil for one year won’t get anything.

      • micksback1 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:20 AM

        your right, that does make sense

  16. nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    MW said Desi’s problem was swinging at fastballs at his eyes. From the chart in his 1st AB, that certainly wasnt the issue

    • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:10 AM

      That was the problem in Desi’s 2nd at-bat as Miller kept climbing the ladder to see if this fish were biting

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:12 AM

        Here’s the 3rd at-bat which showed some better plate discipline but Desi fouled off pitch #4 and looked at pitch #5

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:13 AM

        I hear what Matt Williams was saying this morning on the radio but it really doesnt jibe to what really happened.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:39 AM

        Just part of the issue. Good pitchers tease hitters in a slump.

        I saw pitchers throw dead red heaters to Ryan Zimmerman almost saying “see if you can hit this” like the Natural going after the Whammer.

        It’s tough to watch.

  17. Hiram Hover - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    JZimm pitched a great game, CRob homered, the Nats beat up one of the best pitchers in the NL … and all people can do is b!tch about Desi?

    Man, talk about somebody being inside your head!

    • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Just 70% of the posts. The rest are about Bryce Harper standing near homeplate as he hit the flyout.

      JZ will never get enough credit here becuz hes always in someone elses shadow. It used to be Stras and now its Scherzer.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        There’s been a few about how Matt Williams was wrong, too. So it’s not all one thing.’
        ;-/

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:41 AM

        The lineup tonight will be intresting as Desi hit a HR off of Wistler last week and he starts tonite for the Barves.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      You’d never know the Nats won a game of dueling Aces by reading some comments here.

      • natslive - Jul 1, 2015 at 6:36 PM

        Yeah not many positive comments in here about JZ, Espi as well as Ramos keeping that first inning alive….a few but most are complaints about Desi……I know Fister is going tonight and Uggla isn’t great defensively but Id still put him at 2B for the game and move Espi to short…having said that maybe is the reverse lock for Desi to get hits or at least better ABs

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 7:03 PM

        Yep, reverse lock for Desi.

    • Dave - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:43 AM

      I was thinking that too, reading through this thread. But then I recalled that during the game last night I was almost tempted to turn it off and do something else, because the Nats were beating up the Braves in such a one-sided fashion it wasn’t even interesting.

      I guess we need something to talk about after such an imbalanced matchup.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:02 AM

        Yeah – it just feels like a talk radio faux controversy type conversation.

        Among other good things last night, I would add Espi – 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and a RBI, and he escaped that rundown in the 3rd.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        If Ramos in the 1st inning grounds out, the inning ends 1-0. Nats havent been to good in 2 out situation but scored 3 runs off Miller with 2 outs. Big ABs by Span, Espi, Ramos and Clint Robinson.

        Unfortunately the rest of the game was the story of missed opportunities and I enjoyed every minute of the way it ended.

  18. micksback1 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Desi has no confidence in himself. Why not send him to minors like Espi was sent last season? I suppose it has to do with the free agency status? That is my guess. If Desi was not a free agent, his ass would have been sent down a month ago. His swinging at the fitrst pitch in his case is simply because he lacks confidence in being able to work the count.

    I have no problem with consistent hitters swinging at first pitches, but in Desi’s case it is because he lacks confidence . The point ii was making after the Phillies game on Sunday is the best illustration, the Phils pitcher was over 20 pitches that inning, on the ropes, throwing high in the zone, nats had runners at 1st and 2nd. Desi, instead of letting the pitcher hang himslef, swings at the first pitch and pops out, case and point

    • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      My guess would be because he has no options so it isn’t even a possibility.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:26 AM

      One could argue he has way too much confidence in himself. He still thinks he can hit those six-run home runs if he just swings harder. Then, once in a while he actually does keep his head in, and, like a drunk who thinks he’s cured because he went one day without a drink, goes right back to what feels good, instead of what works.

  19. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    With reference to the above discussion of Ian Desmond and the golf swing, in many of those situations don’t you wish the bat boy could hand him the baseball equivalent of a 5-iron and say ‘no way do you want to hit driver here’?

    • micksback1 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      That’s it, Desi needs Danny NOONAN!!

      LOL

    • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      As a guy who plays twice a week with a 15 handicap I can say that if you handed Desi the 5 iron he would swing it just as hard as the driver and try to hit it as far as the driver

      • scnatsfan - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:24 AM

        but I understand your hope. I just don’t think it would resonate with Desi.

  20. nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Another funny part of the Matt Williams interview was that he said all the starters were upset when Fister got another pinch-hit opportunity as it was a lefty on lefty PH spot, and Scherzer leaves his offensive stats on MW’s desk from time to time.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      Well, that’s Scherzer’s own fault for getting hurt swinging a bat, and missing a start, not to mention the whole DH-comment thing.

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:40 AM

        Right on. MW isnt going to risk his best pitcher in a meaningless PH spot.

  21. micksback1 - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    NoooooNAN

  22. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    JZim needs the nickname “Mr. June”

    He leads the Majors active pitchers in the lowest June ERA. With his gem last night, his June career ERA is 1.95 and that’s in 32 starts and 217 innings which is a large sample size.

    The good news is JZim is pretty good in September/October also 😉

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 1, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      +1

      • nats128 - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:08 AM

        +27 that was impressive. I thought he had no-hitter stuff last night. His breaking pitches were filthy and his command of the strike zone all night was spot on.

        Big test for JZ comes up next weekend when he travels to Charmless City. He doesnt like pitching in a place where popups blow out into the bleachers.

      • ArVAFan - Jul 1, 2015 at 11:20 AM

        We’ll be at the Saturday game. Meeting my Delaware brother half-way for baseball. With the off-day on the 9th, I think that will also be a Zimmermann game.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 1, 2015 at 2:42 PM

        Znn goes Sunday night, IIRC. We’ll wave (at you, not THE Wave).

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ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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