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Nats head up the road to face Orioles

Jul 10, 2015, 6:11 AM EDT

USA Today

Whatever you want to call it: the ‘Battle of the Beltways,’ the ‘Beltway Series,’ or something else; the annual season series between the Nationals and Orioles is always a fun one for baseball fans in the area.

Sometimes the matchups disappoint, of course, but lately both teams have been among the best in their respective leagues. Both have formed perennial contenders largely built from within and each feature a nice crop of household names in the game of baseball.

The regional rivalry continues this weekend, as the Orioles host the Nats in a three-game series at Camden Yards in Baltimore. They will also see each other late in the year on Sept. 21-23 in Washington.

This particular series will send both teams into the All-Star break, and right now each could use a respite. The Orioles have lost eight of 10 and just got swept by the Twins. The Nationals have dropped five of their last eight and are currently missing a long list of regulars due to injury.

The Nationals will be without Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg this weekend. Denard Span is almost certainly out as well, and Yunel Escobar’s status is up in the air. They will, however, catch a break by missing the Orioles’ best pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, with the right-hander having pitched on Thursday.

The Nats will instead see Chris Tillman, who has really struggled this year at 6-7 with a 5.57 ERA, Miguel Gonzalez (7-5, 3.87) and lefty Wei-Yin Chen (4-4, 2.82). The Nats have yet to announce their full rotation for the weekend, though Gio Gonzalez will start the series-opener.

The Nats and Orioles have been playing each season going back to 2006. This is the 10th year of their annual matchup. So far they have played exactly 50 times, with the Orioles holding a 29-21 edge. Based on run differential, the series has been much closer with the Orioles leading by only six runs overall (213-207). But at Camden Yards, the O’s have enjoyed a significant advantage at 16-9 in 25 total games.

The Nationals earned a split at Oriole Park last year, winning one of two games there. In the previous six seasons, however, they went 4-13 in Baltimore.

Whether there is a true rivalry between the teams has become a never-ending debate, but there does seem to be more animosity towards the visitors when the Nats go to Baltimore, as opposed to when the O’s travel south.

It was a raucous scene, for instance, the last time the Nationals played in Charm City, on July 10 of 2014. Jayson Werth recorded the final out on a groundball to shortstop J.J. Hardy as the 30,417 in attendance chanted the always-original phrase ‘Werth-less.’ That moment came after Orioles manager Buck Showalter was caught on camera yelling to Werth to ‘get in the ****ing box’ during a brief ninth-inning delay after Werth fouled a pitch off of his left foot.

That was probably the most tension we have seen between the two teams, at least on the field. With the two stadiums so close to each other, there will naturally be some arguments in the crowd between fans, especially after a few Natty Bohs are consumed.

We’ll see if that carries over to their latest meeting, which takes place Friday night.

  1. laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:04 AM

    I would almost view this series as a “win” if the Nats can get through the weekend without another injury. The Nats obviously need another bat. I think Rizzo will get one, but I would not venture to guess who that might turn out to be.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:18 AM

      I hear the Nats are targeting Anthony Rendon. Hopefully they get Denard Span also. If both those happen, do you have enough confidence in Espi to 1st or LF.

      The other question is what do you do with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman?

      Like I said yesterday, I would target AJ Pollock. He’s controlled for 3 more full seasons.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:25 AM

        Don’t know anything about Pollock, but the Diamondbacks are currently at .500 and tied with San Francisco for 2nd place in the West. It’s possible that they might not be sellers at the deadline.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:33 AM

        I don’t think they will be sellers on July 31st rather on the August waiver wire. If it’s anything like last year, they might not make moves if you remember they didn’t pull the trigger on Ziegler or Aaron Hill.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM

        Yes, and Rizzo likes making moves on the waiver wire in August. By then we should have more of a handle on the status of Werth (and RZim).

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:46 AM

        The waiver wire gives Rizzo 30 days past the trade deadline to really know where he’s at. Now the dicey part of that is if he’s targeted a player, they might be gone by then.

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:03 AM

        The WaPo is reporting that there is nothing seriously wrong with Span’s back. Finally, some good news, assuming that report is accurate.

        That is the first I heard than Rendon is close, Ghost, and I certainly hope that is true. Can we handle 2 good news stories in one day!?

        “do you have enough confidence in Espi to 1st or LF.”

        I’ve got a lot of confidence in Espinosa, far more than I would ever have dreamed about prior to the start of this season. I like him better in LF than at 1b, because he is a little short, and lacks the length you would like to see in the guy playing over there. Of course, moving Espi to LF would require Rendon to return to full-time duty.

        “The other question is what do you do with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman?”

        Keep your fingers crossed. Both were terrible when supposedly “healthy.” I do not count on either man to return to the player he once was, especially Werth. Now both are dealing with injuries in addition to the shoulder problems they each already had. Does Rizzo really count on either man coming back to form? Maybe, but I don’t. The Nats may be stuck with a lot of dead weight if neither man does. My guess is Rizzo does something about a power corner bat, if he believes the same as I do.

        The other question I would ask is what does Rizzo do about Ian Desmond? It is long past time to replace him at SS with someone who can actually play the game. One of the comments made by Trea Turner during his interview with the NI moderators was how he approached AAA pitching – “keep it simple…don’t try to hit home runs because you just make it easy for them to get you out…” Or words very similar to that. He just turned 21, is now 9 for his last 21 ABs in AAA, and could tutor the incumbent on how best to approach ML pitching, right now.

        And, oh yeah, he has 2 HRs, anyway, in just 13 games in AAA, not including yesterdays’ game, where he did not get an AB. If he keeps on producing like that, I would call him up and slot him at SS, despite the howling in the clubhouse. Baseball is a team game, and Desi has said he would do anything to help the team win. The best thing he could do would be to take a seat for a more talented, and much more intelligent player.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:09 AM

        I’m with you on Werth and RZim. I will have to see it to believe it. The good news on Werth is the shoulder is now 100% but the iffy part is that wrist. Certainly a wait and see and show me scenario.

        Getting Rendon back at the end of July in 100% healthy shape is key. We saw what Rendon and Harp did last October!!!!

      • veejh - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:09 AM

        Some tough decisions with all of our vets are approaching. Gonna be interesting to see how this all plays out.

      • laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:24 AM

        “The good news on Werth is the shoulder is now 100% but the iffy part is that wrist.”

        Wow! That is good news about his shoulder and, once again, the first that I have heard that. You are making me feel better about Werth, at least.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:32 AM

        You think? The wrist has to pass the test.

    • slidell2 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      Delmon Young was recently DFA’ed by the O’s. Would he be an option? His numbers this year look reasonable.

      • catcher50 - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:36 AM

        Not likely. He can play some defense, but he’s much more valuable to an AL club.

  2. ArVAFan - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    Anyone else going? We’ll be there Saturday night, behind the visitors dugout. If Zimmermann’s pitching, I’ll probably wear my no-hitter shirt (remember, we’re coming with my BIG brother for protection).

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:22 AM

      I heard the Oreos are doing giveaways all weekend in an effort to fill the stadium.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:53 AM

      I will never darken the doors of that park again for as long as the present ownership is refusing to do what’s right for the Washington Nationals. I detest giving Angelos anymore than I already have to when watching MASN. Not that my protest makes any difference in the scope of things.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:26 AM

        I’ve refused to support that team ever since the Senators were moved after the 71 season. I was not willing to support the move by MLB that was more about lousy attendance in Baltimore than it was about attendance in DC. The Orioles won 318 games in 69-71 and finished in the bottom half of MLB attendance (one year they might have been 12th). MLB could not acknowledge that one of (if not the) best teams in baseball could not draw. So they looked south, saw a potential fan base and decided that letting Short move the team to Texas was a good idea. And, oh yeah, part of the reason Short was approved as the buyer even though his finances were in a lot of doubt was because he was interested in selling the team for a profit to someone who wanted to move it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:19 AM

        Joe, well said. The guy is a stain on the little integrity MLB ownership has. He treats everything like the way he runs his law practice.

      • nattygoats - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:48 AM

        Good for you.

      • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:45 AM

        Agree 100%
        It amazes me how the Orioles refuse to even talk about what they have done, fans, and reporters on both TV, radio and print.

        Have to bite my tongue continually around the rest of my family but I will never say a good word about the Orioles

        This series for that reason is not fun for me. I literally have 20 to 25 people (except for my sons) rooting for the Orioles and telling my how great Machado is and what a creep Harper is etc etc. Nope, not fun at all.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:31 AM

        Machado? The guy who has, more than once, thrown his bat at opposing players?

        Yeah, he’s a peach.

      • natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:34 AM

        I will say one thing on the MASN front, I’m glad they don’t do the split booth thing now. Yuck.

    • natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:39 AM

      Nope. Never followed them in the pre-Nats era, and I’ve only been there once, when my husband’s boss gave us free tix.

      • NatsLady - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:50 AM

        I was there once. It was NOT a fun experience. Only two things were positive (1) Crab cakes, though expensive were excellent. WHY CAN’T THEY do that HERE? (2) Nats fans who were familiar with the park guided me to my seat.

        The negative list has about 1,000 items. Especially, the park is NOT good for ADA persons.

  3. veejh - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    Sure would be nice to beat the crap out of the Os and roll into the ASB on a high note. With our mish-mash lineup, my confidence is low.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:22 AM


    • knoxvillenat - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:33 AM

      I’ll be happy if the Nats take 2 of 3. A sweep on the road would be awesome!

      • veejh - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:42 AM

        Just don’t get swept, is all I ask.

      • nattygoats - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        I’ll be happy with 1.

  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    From James Wagner:

    “According to a person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced anything publicly, the initial exam revealed nothing serious, but the Nationals and Span felt it was best to get a specialist’s diagnosis and suggested treatment. Although specifics were not immediately known, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday’s appointment was encouraging.”

    How nice would it be for Span to not need a DL stint as next Friday when play resumes after the All Star break would be 10 days rest for Span.

    • veejh - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:43 AM

      Great news. Maybe the pendulum has started swinging the other way.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      Not surprising as it clearly did not involve the spine or a nerve.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:53 AM

        As nervous as Span was about it and all the speculation I was nervous. Then the first comment yesterday here was some troll posting that fake Ladson comment.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:22 AM

        “Locking up” in spasms is certainly worrisome. There has to be some kind of root cause. Span was clearly seeing his career threatened or possibly diminished. Who can blame him?

        This “Walk Year” stuff is not panning out as hoped. I read an interview with Werth where the first half of his walk year with Philly was not good. Then in the second half he caught fire. Hoping all four of ours have a good second half.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:06 AM

      That is the report I referenced, above. Thanks for providing the link.

    • natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      That’s encouraging. Hope he is okay and does avoid the DL.

  5. stoatva - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    I thought Barrett was supposed to throw an inning for Harrisburg last night. He didn’t.

    Stevenson 2 for 4, hitting .341 for Auburn. He’s ready, right?

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:10 AM

      “He’s ready, right?”

      You’re kidding, right? He’s a 3-year collegiate player from a major program who is playing against a lot of teenaged competition who have never worn a college uniform. You would expect him to do well in that environment. It would be pretty discouraging if he were not.

      Much more impressive is Turner’s performance in AAA as a just-turned 22-year-old who is an average of over 4 years younger than the guys he is playing against, including many pitchers with ML experience.

      • stoatva - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:57 AM

        Of course I’m kidding about Stevenson (channeling FP you might say).

        But I wouldn’t hesitate to call up Turner if the circumstances called for his playing on an almost everyday basis. Would NOT bring him up this year as bench depth, though.

      • jd - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM


        That’s a really smart comment about Stevenson. The results at this level are a given, it’s just a way to get his feet wet. He should be moved up to at least Hagerstown and possibly even Potomac.

        I just don’t see it with Skole, he’s nearly 26 and is still having trouble dominating AA pitching, the jump from there to the majors is still not insignificant.

        I agree with you completely about Turner. In fact for San Diego to trade both him and Joe Ross is one of the most bone headed moves by a GM I have seen in recent years. Still I think that service time issues will keep Turner in the minors until some time next year (May or June).

        I think Desmond would very likely have been on his way out the door by now if it hadn’t been for all the injuries. I think Rizzo would want something better than a sandwich pick for Desmond.


        I can’t believe you are floating the notion of the Nats going after Pollack. You may as well mention Goldschmidt. Why on earth would Arizona trade one of it’s young controllable players for anyone not names Giolito, Turner or Ross? I think that’s a 100% non starter.

        My candidate for an acquisition (more accurately Jonah Keri’s candidate) is Adam Lind who at 31 can’t be of much use to a Brewers team not likely to go anywhere anytime soon. He has a decent contract ($7.5 mil with a team option for 2016 of $8 mil), has a potent left handed bat and can make a big difference in this year’s run.

        Also, you can’t just dismiss Ryan Zimmerman, he’s signed for big money through 2019, if that’s dead money and we need someone else to play 1st base it would really set us back.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Anybody know anything much about Caleb Ramsey? He’s hitting .297 at Syracuse, but with little HR power.

    • laddieblahblah - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      Joe, I have been tracking Ramsey for a couple of years. He is organizational depth from what I gather about him. For a corner outfielder, he has no power, as you point out, and has never displayed power at any level in the minors.

      Matt Skole’s power bat has warmed up, once again, at Harrisburg, but they have him playing mostly at 3rd base, for some reason. Maybe they give him a long look at 1b next year, if Zim continues to struggle. He makes a lot of throwing errors at 3b, so I really don’t understand the thinking, unless Rizzo & co. really are counting on Zim to return to form.

      If CRob, TyMo, et. al. can play LF, I think Skole could play it, too.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2015 at 12:47 PM

        I’ve been up and watched Skole play. To say that he is not quick would be saying it very nicely. And I’m not talking about not fast on the bases, I’m talking about lateral movement defensively. I don’t see Skole ever being a contributor to this club.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 10, 2015 at 12:49 PM

        laddie, just because Moore and Robinson are put in LF doesn’t mean that they can play a decent LF. I’m telling you, Skole is slug slow.

  7. rayvil01 - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    This is like Auburn/ Alabama or Michigan/ Ohio State for me. Too many acquaintances and in-laws are Ho’s fans. Playing in their band box is one thing. But, when the prison orange invades Nats Park it makes me sick. Hope the Nats have a good weekend.

  8. pchuck69 - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    >>The Nationals have dropped five of their last eight

    Wrong. They’ve lost 4 of their last 8, two against the Reds and two against the Braves. They swept the Giants and beat the Braves in the first game of that series.

    • natsjackinfl - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:36 AM

      It seems lately that Chase has to place at least one incorrect statement about the Nats in his posts.

      Is he checking to see if we really read his work?

    • nats128 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:36 AM

      Could have kept the glass 1/2 full and just say the Nats were 4-4 in the last 3 series. Thats pretty darn good for playing with a split squad roster.

      • dhamm6500 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        A ROAD split squad, at that.

      • nats128 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:49 AM


  9. rlndtln - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Who is pitching Sunday.Why the big mystery?Max should pitch Sunday and if he needs a little break then he could pitch again the next Sunday.This way we will gain 1 start from Max.

    • bowdenball - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      Because Max has been throwing a lot of innings lately, and taking seven days off instead of five doesn’t really help the situation. There’s also a decent chance that you still lose a start from him if you push him back to Sunday based on how the rest of the calendar falls out. You also have to drop either Zimm or Fister from their last pre-break start to get him in there, which means those guys are now going almost two weeks between starts. Finally, there’s the fact that if he starts Sunday he can’t pitch in the all-star game, which is less important of course but still a nice honor for him.

      It’s not as simple as “send Scherzer to the mound every time you can.” If that were the plan they’d be skipping a Gio or Fister start in favor of starting Max a day earlier every time the Nats had an off day.

      • jd - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:12 AM


        I agree with you and the Nats kind of tipped us off by bringing Taylor Hill up which to me meant that they intended to start Roark if we hadn’t had the rainout so they needed another long man. I think Scherzer was not going to start Sunday regardless. Now with the rainout there is no reason not to with JZim and Fister (although the complication may be the fact that JZim may need to leave on Paternity in which case I think Roark will start).

        If the Nats don’t DL Span and they replace Hill on the roster with Difo then it’s a pretty good bet that JZim and Fister are starting, if they keep Hill I think it means Fister and Roark are starting.

      • bowdenball - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        I should clarify that I really don’t know what they’ll do, and I don’t have an opinion on the right thing to do. I’m just saying it’s not as simple as “let Max pitch Sunday because that way you can get an extra start out of him.” Like I said, if that was always the right move they’d skip a guy every time they had a day off between one of his starts and have Max pitch on four days’ rest instead of five.

      • nats128 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:29 AM

        “If the Nats don’t DL Span and they replace Hill on the roster with Difo then it’s a pretty good bet that JZim and Fister are starting, if they keep Hill I think it means Fister and Roark are starting.”

        jd, Hill was replaced by Carpenter who was coming back from paternity leave. The Nats chose to keep Solis who sort of takes the place of Strasburg.

        If Difo is activated he will take the place of Span.

    • nats128 - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      The Oreos havent announced there rotation at all. Nats at least say Gio is going tonight. I hear Chen and Tillman will pitch in 2 of the games. They sent Gasman back to AAA.

  10. natsguy - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    I would spend your energy worrying about Rendon and Span. RZIM’s and Werth’s shoulders are probably too much to count on anymore. Shoulders are never 100% again after surgery. Especially against ML pitching.

    • bowdenball - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      Seems like you should provide some sort of basis for a sweeping conclusion like “shoulders are never 100% again after surgery,” no? Or at least give us your medical qualifications to make such a statement? Especially since this medical study says you’re wrong:

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      ZIm has been having shoulder problems for years and there’s no doubt they took a toll his throwing and necessitated the move to 1B.

      But even after the shoulder flared up in 2012, he consistently produced well at the plate–not up to the level of his best years in 2009-10, but still in top 30% of MLB hitters from 2012-14.

      I wouldn’t be quite so quick to write him off. Ditto Werth–even if he doesn’t come back 100%, 75% of Jayson Werth would still be a shot in the arm for this team.

      • rlndtln - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:44 AM

        Bowden.You are talking in riddles.Either Max pitches Sunday when it counts or Tuesday.When will he get extra rest?If he pitches tuesday he will pitch next Sunday.The choice is only Sunday or tuesday in the AS game.This has zero to do about rest or over using Max.

      • bowdenball - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        You know he wouldn’t really “pitch” on Tuesday in the way we’re using that word here, right? He’d throw two innings at most, probably just one thanks to his recent slip-up and Greinke’s masterpiece last night. It would basically be a bullpen session.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    On another note, interesting piece from the Times on minor league umps.

    • sjm308 - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      Thanks 1a and long time no write for me (stupid knee re;acement)

      I was fortunate enough to work with Erich’s mom who is a wonderful school nurse and the pride she has for what her son has accomplished is nice to see. I wish him all the luck in what has been a dream of his for a long time and hope to hear that one day he has made it.

      • natsfan1a - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:36 AM

        You’re welcome, sjm. It’s always good to “see” you on here, and I wish you well in your continued recovery from knee surgery.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    If Span doesn’t go on the DL, MW has a 8 man bullpen now and could make a move with Difo could just replace Solis to give MW a 5 man bench.

    The other question mark is paternity leave for JZim.

  13. nattygoats - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    I too will never go to that despicable park again. I live much closer to crapden yards that Nats park but refuse to go there. I would like nothing more then to see the Nats whip these guys. But with all the injuries I just don’t see it.

    • nats128 - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      Nice to here.

  14. chiefwj - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Two observations on pitching Scherzer this weekend vs. giving him some extra rest.

    1) Over the course of his career (although not this year), his ERA is half a run better pitching on 5 days rest instead of 4.

    2) The most innings he’s pitched in a season, including post-season, is 227. Only 1 CG until this year. So far, he’s gone 123 innings in slightly more than half a season. While you can’t say he hasn’t thrived this year, he hasn’t exactly been Joe McGinnity either.

    My vote: Save him for October.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:31 AM

      Boy, do I agree with this. Save him for October 2015, and 2016-2021.

    • therealjohnc - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:36 AM

      I broadly agree with that, but I’ve read in a couple of different places that although Scherzer’s at a career high in complete games already and is trending near a career high in innings pitched, he’s been significantly more efficient this year and has actually thrown a lower number of pitches per start than in previous years. I haven’t had time to run the numbers myself, but that’s interesting (and encouraging) if true.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:04 AM

      Like John, I was wondering about the IP vs # pitches.

      Scherzer pitched 32-33 games each of the last 4 seasons in Detroit, averaging about 204 IP.

      If he keeps up his pace so far in 2015, he”ll record 33 starts and maybe 240 IP.

      But, this year, he’s averaging about 2-1/2 pitches fewer per inning, so he’s still on track to throw fewer pitches than he averaged over 2011-14.

      That said–yeah, use him judiciously, lock up the NL East, get him a little rest in Sept.

  15. rlndtln - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    How do you save him?Pitch him in AS game tuesday and then Sunday or Pitch him Sunday and then the following sunday.What is the difference?Remember to get to October you have to win the division.

    • bowdenball - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      The difference is a regular start vs an all-star game appearance. They are totally different things and the former is far more taxing than the latter. This seems pretty obvious, not sure what you’re missing.

      And that’s not to say I think Max should sit on Sunday. I really don’t know, I haven’t talked to him or watched him with an expert’s eye or researched his current and past workloads in detail. I also don’t know if Zimmermann will be available, which is a big variable. I’m simply saying that pitching Sunday and pitching Tuesday are not close to the same thing.

      • rlndtln - Jul 10, 2015 at 1:41 PM

        Pitch him on sunday then next sunday.A weeks rest.What do you not get.If he pitches on tuesday he will pitch again on sunday.If pitching 2 innings in the AS game is different than a regular start why would he not pitch sooner than next sunday after the AS start.The reason is they are both a start and require 5 days rest.What are you gaining in rest pitching AS tuesday and the sunday versus sunday and then sunday.?

  16. NatsLady - Jul 10, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    The Mets just lost Matz for a few weeks (letting him pitch when he complain of lat pain in his first start). I just don’t see us losing the Division to the Mets, and I don’t think Atlanta will make moves at the deadline since they seem committed to not winning until they get to their new ballpark. Even 88 or 89 wins could take the Division. So–rest Max. Remember, when he was in Detroit he didn’t go that long into games, that was the one knock on him. Matty needs to NOT let Max’s ego get in the way. (BTW, I don’t see Stras coming back before mid-to-late August, basically, just in time for roster eligibility).

    We will have “fresh legs” coming after the break in Rendon, RZim and, eventually, Werth.

    • jd - Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56 PM


      Yours is an optimistic view of things. It could work out but I have nothing to go by in concluding that all the players you mention will return to action and to full (or close to full productivity) some time in the 2nd half.

      Zim’s injury looks like it may linger for quite some time especially once he starts playing on a nightly basis, it may just be a question of pain management but that makes you wonder how effective he will be.

      Werth, it remains to be seen if age regression has finally caught up with his game. It’s an open question but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable one.

      Rendon should be fine but he’s finally living up to his reputation of being injury prone. I hope it’s just bad luck and he’ll come back strong, but there is cause for concern.

      I think you are basically right about the Mets. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. The only way they make needle moving improvements to their lineup is by trading one or more of their young stud pitchers. I dont think they are inclined to do that, not unless they get equal value in terms of age and team control (or by spending big bucks, they aren’t likely to do that either).

      In conclusion, I think we are OK but I don’t think we are in position to tank large chunks of the season based on a weak division and expected returns to health. I would absolutely look for an upgrade on offense if we can get that without trading away Giolito, Turner, Ross and a couple of others. As I said my choice would be Adam Lind.





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 Click here for past audio clips.

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