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Moore becomes 2nd Nats’ position player to pitch

Aug 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

USA Today

The circumstances were not ideal with his team down eight runs at home, but on Wednesday night Nationals utility man Tyler Moore was afforded an opportunity he had lobbied and waited for for quite some time.

In the ninth inning of the Nats’ 11-4 loss to the Diamondbacks, Moore became just the second position player in team history to pitch in a game. The other time was also this season and it also came against the Arizona Diamondbacks. That honor was given to Clint Robinson, but Moore was happy to step in when called upon to save the Nats’ bullpen.

“It sucks after a loss. But the bullpen’s kind of taken some heat here lately and I was able to get a couple of outs. That was good for us,” Moore said.

Moore replaced lefty Felipe Rivero with one out and runners on the corners. His first matchup came against Paul Goldschmidt, one of the best players in baseball.

“Obviously when you look up and see Goldschmidt hitting it’s not real comfortable up there on the mound,” Moore said.

Moore got Goldschmidt to ground into a forceout at second base, but it brought Ender Inciarte home from third. Moore then hit Welington Castillo in the backside with a pitch before getting Aaron Hill to line out to second base for the third out.

Moore described the pitch that hit Castillo afterwards:

“It was a cutter. I hit him right in the back. Should have probably just thrown a fastball, but I tried to get cute.”

Moore pitching provided a moment of levity in an otherwise ugly game for the Nationals. Several of his teammates were able to find joy in watching Moore pitch, despite the circumstances.

“It was great. I love when position players pitch,” Bryce Harper said. “For the other team, not us because when that happens we’re losing pretty bad. But it was fun to see. Tyler, he likes messing around and throwing his cutter and curveball and joking around in the outfield sometimes. So it’s nice to see him go out there and get two quick outs.”

“Obviously under the circumstances it stinks, because we were losing,” Aaron Barrett said. “But it’s pretty cool seeing a teammate and a position player being able to pitch and get a couple guys out. I’m happy for it. It’s a big thrill for a position player to be able to come in.”

Moore was the 26th player to pitch for the Nationals this season. It came in an early-August loss, but Wednesday was a game Moore will surely never forget.

“It was always you wanted to get in when you were winning. That was kind of a bittersweet feeling. It was fun. It was fun. Glad I didn’t blow nothing out and threw some strikes,” he said.

  1. natfan33 - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    We can only hope it does not happen again this season.

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    ‘“It was a cutter. I hit him right in the back. Should have probably just thrown a fastball, but I tried to get cute.”’


    I needed a laugh this morning. This was funny.

    • Section 222 - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:02 AM

      If Kirk Gibson was still the manager, he would have considered that retaliation for Castillo’s HR, and would have started a beanball war.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:06 AM

        You know, I didn’t even think about it like that. I mean, retaliate for what? Dbacks doing their jobs, while the Nats didn’t… *shrug*

        I laughed at TyMo, a position player, saying he was trying to get cute by throwing different pitches instead of just the fastball.

  3. Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    “Obviously under the circumstances it stinks, because we were losing,” Aaron Barrett said. “But it’s pretty cool seeing a teammate and a position player being able to pitch and get a couple guys out. I’m happy for it. It’s a big thrill for a position player to be able to come in.”

    You know, if I’m Aaron Barrett and I had a night like last night, I wouldn’t be talking about how cool anything is that happened out there. I’d be hiding in some dark and remote corner of the clubhouse until the reporters had all left.

    “[W]e were losing…” Yeah, Aaron. Did you notice who got the “L” after his name?

    “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness.” –Annie Savoy

    • Doc - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      Aaron to Syracuse for Treinan—just a guess.

      • scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:35 AM

        Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

      • jd - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:36 AM

        You are probably right but that still feels like shuffling the chairs on the Titanic. How much confidence do you have in Treinen?

    • Section 222 - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      +1 I left the game before this happened (save your scorn, I had a very tired 13-year old with me, and the two “deliberate” starting pitches made this a very slow game). I’m kind of glad I didn’t see it. This whole feel good story after a very ugly loss leaves me cold.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:08 AM

        I’ve never understood why people feel the need to say stuff to people who decide to leave games early if their team is down. I mean, personal prerogative and all that jazz… It’s that person’s loss if they left and the team came back. Whatevs…

      • Section 222 - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:14 AM

        +1 to that. There are all kind of perfectly understandable reasons for leaving early. If you paid your money to be there, you can stay as long or as short as you want. One thing about going to a lot of games is I never feel bad If I have ot leave early for some reason. I’ll be back soon. But that doesn’t people from commenting on all the fans streaming for the exits in the 8th inning of a losing game.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:17 AM

        I mean I stayed the entire game – cuz some sick, twisted part of me was refusing to believe the worst and I just knew that we would have some 9th inning magic like last time…

        Plus I was getting a ride home and didn’t have to be on metro.. hahaha…

        But again, Im not as salty/angry or any of that since I got my Chia Pet. It is giving me comfort as I look at it, right now.

  4. scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    I heard Barrett was in the shower asking Moore about the grip on his cutter.

    Or maybe that was Paplebon and Storen…

  5. langleyclub - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    I know that Treinen has had meltdowns similar to Barrett’s last night, but he has been lights out for Syracuse since his demotion:

    12 IP 6H 1 BB (yes, 1 walk) and 14Ks – 0 runs allowed. Also, the bullpen is taxed right not. While Joe Ross is solid, if he has a rough outing today, the Nats have no one available to go multiple innings early in the game. So, would think that Treinen would make some sense. Blake did pitch 2.1 innings on Tuesday; so, he may not be completely fresh either. Do think that the Nats needs to make a move for a fresh arm.

    • Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:02 AM

      While Joe Ross is solid, if he has a rough outing today, the Nats have no one available to go multiple innings early in the game.

      What, no love for TyMo? He was the only reliever who didn’t give up a run last night. 💔

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:42 AM

        TyMo’s not available — we’ll have to go to CRob 😉

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      Treinen = AAAA until proven otherwise. Barrett = Not Ready for Prime Time. Proven all too often.

    • scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:34 AM

      Oh we have alot of good arms there but the bright lights seem to melt them

  6. Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    On the one hand, I want to fault Gio for not being able to get through the 6th, even though he was hurt by BABIP. If he’d finished the 6th, we’d be in the driver’s seat with Janssen, Storen, and Papelbon finishing up.

    But on the other hand, the Nats had only 2 hits at that point, and were showing no sign of getting many more. So do you leave Gio in when he’s getting close to 100 pitches and he’s had to work out of two or three jams already and it could all blow up in a hurry?

    If the Nats had been leading 5-1 at that point instead of 2-1, MW might well have let Gio finish the inning, even at the cost of another run or two. And things might have turned out very, very differently.

    You have to figure the hitting will come around – it always does. But it’s hell waiting for that day. And then you worry will the pitching hold up when the hitting comes around? And will someone ELSE get injured? There’s always something that’s going to go wrong, and I guess it’s the manager’s job to try to anticipate it and figure out what he’ll do when it inevitably happens.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      I don’t think Paps would have been available last night. I was thinking Gio thru 6, AB in the 7th, Lopez the 8th and then Storen the 9th…

      • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:19 AM

        Lopez or Janssen, that’s what I thought too.

      • jd - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:24 AM

        Who is Lopez?

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:28 AM

        Damn, meant Rivero. Doing too many things at 1 time. Talking to a person named Lopez… my bad.

    • NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:18 AM

      Well, I put my thoughts on Gio into the previous thread and I’m too tired to copy them over. I’ll be driving to the Park today (for reasons that are too complicated to explain and boring anyway). If anyone wants a lift from Foggy Bottom Metro (because you can’t take Metro blue/orange/silver to L’Enfant today) let me know, we can meet.

      • jd - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:42 AM


        I read your comments about Gio, MW and the bullpen readiness in the previous post:

        1) I still think that bringing Gio out to start the 6th but taking him out after a ground ball single with the bottom of the order coming smacks of incompetence.
        2) You say that MW has gotten better with reading JZim and Scherzer but not so much Gio – where is Mc.Catty in all of this?
        3) saying that Barrett and Roark came in when they weren’t ready blows my mind. If that’s true Rizzo really needs to reassess the people he has working for him in the dugout.

        The bunt Barrett threw away was really a great bunt and Barrett never had a chance, the only way to get the runner would be a charging 3rd baseman with a perfect bare hand pickup. Barrett should have held on to the ball and Ryan should have tried to slide in front of it just to block it. If Barrett eats the ball the DBacks are still likely to score a couple of runs but maybe not 4.

    • jd - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:45 AM


      No worries.

      BTW, how do you let Rivero throw 30 pitches in a game which is already pretty much lost probably losing him for the next day? What’s wrong with asking Thornton to take one for the team and finish the game?

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:55 AM


        Same reason Drew and Pap were saved from the NY series.
        Same reason Drew and Pap were used in the 5-0 lost against the Dbacks
        Same reason that Joe Ross was sent out in the 7th.
        Same reason that Rivero was asked to give a 3rd inning after having 2 dominate ones….
        Same reason that … you know what, Imma stop. You get my drift.

      • Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM

        Well, before TyMo came in, some of us in my section were speculating that the game might NEVER end if Thornton didn’t get yanked.

        Charlie and Dave: “So with the Nats trailing 327 to 2 here in the top of the eighth…”

  7. Muddy Ruel - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Okay, cool. We’re on to weird topics.

    How about mine: to improve baseball, 4 proposals: (1) metal bats; (2) computer/physics-determined strikes-balls; (3) after 2 strikes, 3 foul balls and you’re out; and (4) no DH in either league.

    Hey, if colleges use metal bats, so can pros, and then they’d be no broken bats going into the stands, fans, or players, and they’d be better hitting (IMO, no science involved).

    And too many bad strike/balls are called. Too hard for a human. Let’s get it right like we’re doing re outs, fouls. (Science involved.)

    I’m tried of watching players foul off 5+ pitches.

    And re getting rid of the the DH, all nine guys should bat. It’s not baseball otherwise. And it’s more strategy, more fun to watch. And, besides,I hate Billy Ripken

    • Section 222 - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      Yeah, that whole Jayson Werth/Lance Lynn battle in Game 4 was boring as hell.

      • Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        + eleventeen

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      Metal bats in MLB with pitchers throwing 100 mph? You’d need a Monument Park style graveyard in every ballpark for the players, coaches and yes fans who’d be killed by that. I bet you like NASCAR because of the crashes too.

    • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:45 AM

      OK, well, folks slammed your other proposals — but I agree with no DH!

      In *real* baseball (i.e., the National League): DH stands for double-header. Nothing else. 😉

  8. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Whelp, I hope that the Nats can put some good at bats against Hellickson this afternoon…

    That’s about all I got.

    • scnatsfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      God lets hope so

  9. NatsLady - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    OK, I don’t think I was clear.

    Anyone coming in on Metro from Virginia on the Blue/Orange/Silver, service is still out downtown as of 10:30. If you want to go as far as Foggy Bottom, I can pick you up and take you to the Park with me. Planning to go about 2 pm. Follow me on Twitter @NatsLady and I will follow you and you can DM me to communicate.

  10. Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:43 AM
    • jd - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:46 AM

      No surprise here. Not holding out much hope for better results though.

      • Candide - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:55 AM

        Maybe. He’s been lights-out in Syracuse.

      • adcwonk - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:35 PM

        Maybe. He’s been lights-out in Syracuse.

        The question is: did he straighten himself out? Or is he a good AAAA player?

        (I’m not saying I know the answer!)

  11. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Use of “pound the zone” by Gonzalez is an offense against what everybody in the ballpark and at home in their living rooms saw. Neither BAPIP nor “only walked one” is an excuse. He was in long counts all night — maybe I shouldn’t say “all night” because he was out of the game shortly after sundown. He has a wonderful curveball — maybe the best in the major leagues — but it is effective only when he can set it up with his fastball, and I’m not sure I saw a FB called strike all the time I was watching. (I left the TV to load the dishwasher when Williams signaled for Barrett and when I came back it was 5-2; I knew without being told what had happened.) Gonzalez is not the pitcher he was in 2012 (hasn’t been since, really). As FP pointed out — again — last night, his success in his 21-win season (still without pitching 200 innings) was built on getting ahead with the FB and finishing off hitters with the curve and changeup. Now he seems limited to trying to fool hitters with the change and the slider, and tempting them w/ FBs he can’t command. The 79 mph curve ball is a great pitch when he can get to two strikes because it’s the only thing that consistently comes down in the strike zone.

    Barrett is the first occasion this season I can recall where someone actually got an expedited demotion for poor performance. I wish it happened more often but the salaries of most of the worst offenders are too high for the Syracuse payroll. Both Barrett (“killer slider”) and Treinen (“killer sinker”) are incomplete pitchers. Barrett is simply unreliable. At this point, I think Treinen is better suited to start — he wobbles in late-inning/pressurized relief situations. Rivero is probably a keeper but is inexperienced and gets rattled. The Nats didn’t need another closer at the trade deadline; they needed better middle relievers and there were plenty available on the market.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 6, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    Now you tell me, does RZim field that shot to 1st?





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