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Game 117: Nats at Giants

Aug 16, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT

The Nationals enter Sunday staring down the barrel of a potential four-game sweep at the San Francisco Giants. And in order make sure that doesn’t happen, they will have to outduel one of the best pitchers in baseball in Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner is 13-6 with a 3.15 ERA this season, but the Nats have somehow beaten him each of the last five times they have faced them. That includes a 9-3 victory on the Fourth of July where Bumgarner gave up six runs in five innings of work, including two homers. They also beat him at AT&T Park in the playoffs last year in Game 3 of the NLDS. That was the only loss for Mad Bum in what became a historic postseason performance overall.

Rookie Joe Ross (3-4, 3.44) will get the nod for the Nationals in his ninth career MLB start. He has been a revelation for the Nats this season, but is coming off his worst start so far. He gave up five earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings on Aug. 11 against the Dodgers. It will be interesting to see how the young right-hander responds to that outing.

Fortunately for the Nationals, Bryce Harper is back in the lineup after leaving Saturday night’s game with a left leg injury. He fouled a pitch off the top of his left foot, but X-rays were negative, according to

Enjoy the game and please check back in the morning for analysis…

Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 188/869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees, Wind 13 mph out to RF

CF Michael Taylor
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
LF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Joe Ross

GIANTS (63-53)
CF Gregor Blanco
3B Matt Duffy
1B Brandon Belt
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Justin Maxwell
2B Kelby Tomlinson
LHP Madison Bumgarner

HP Jeff Nelson (cc)
1B Laz Diaz
2B Chris Guccione
3B Cory Blaser

  1. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    No Espinosa against the lefty. Wow.

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:04 PM

      Career .313 against MadBum, although seems like most Nats infielders have good numbers against him.

  2. Jumbo jones - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Four guys on this team can hit — Harpy, Escobar, Espinosa and Robinson. Only two of them are playing. I think that’s a problem for a team that isn’t scoring any runs.

    • Another_Sam - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:16 PM

      Bat Harper, Escobar, and Zimmerman 1,2, and 3.

      • Big Red W - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:25 PM

        The good news: we are possibly the worst team in mlb at the moment so if this continues for another 2 months we can get the #1 pick.

    • adcwonk - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      The problem the last two games was not scoring any runs?

  3. rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Espi is 2-5 with 2 HRS in the series and Rendon has done less than nothing.This is all you need to know about MW. Same as Storen as good as any one in the league as a closer and they demote him.What kind of morale can you have.

    • hersheyman - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:29 PM

      agreed 100%. Just amazing. How not to run a baseball team.

  4. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    Two two out triples for the Pirates yield… bupkis.

    Watching Gregory Polanco trotting leisurely to first on a play where he wound up pulling into third standing up is infuriating. I’ve seen just enough of that guy to detest him (as a baseball player, that is. Maybe he’s kind to small animals, I don’t know).

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      Harvey escapes the sixth although Granderson very nearly dropped the third out. Would only have loaded the bases, though, since Aramis Ramirez makes CRob look like Dee Gordon.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    Good Luck Nats…. we will see what happens today.

  6. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    Those who think FP and Carp are the worst announcers in the history of broadcast baseball should be sentenced to a week of listening to Cardinals games. “Homers” doesn’t begin to describe it.

  7. Jfmii - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Threw one strike to MAT?

  8. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Mets defining “choke” in seventh inning of their game with the Bucs. Parnell throws easy double play ball into CF as Murphy and Tejada look at each other, later wild pitches another run in from third.

    All of which will matter little if we don’t apply our own pressure.

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:23 PM

      Seriously, that inning was as bad as anything you’ve seen from the Nats in recent weeks. Wild throws, guys not covering bases, the whole ugly mess. 🙂 Not the way you want to wrap up a homestand.

      Joe Cool looks tough today.

    • nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:13 PM

      CHOKE??? LOL The Mets are playing a good team and have lost two in extras. The nats have been absolutely humiliatied in SF. That’s a clown statement BRO

      • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:30 PM

        You obviously weren’t watching. Also, you’re a poopyhead.

  9. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Everything was up… and he chased everything…

  10. rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    The Mets will lose 3 straight to the Pirates and we may not gain anything.

  11. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Ike Davis on to pitch for the A’s. O’s lead 18-2.

  12. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    Didnt throw 1 strike to Ramos….

  13. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    Good bunt, Joe.

  14. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    Leadoff walk… and Nats can’t cash in…


    • rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:45 PM

      When we pitch we do not hit,and when we hit we do not pitch.

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:45 PM

      Sure wish there were a place for Espinosa in this loaded lineup of ours, y’know?

      • nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:11 PM

        Let Danny manage the team.

  15. rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    6-1 Buccos.Hardly matters

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      Enjoy the game. Great pitching.

      Don’t you even like baseball?

    • nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:10 PM

      No it doesn’t MATTER. The Nats cant even win a game. forget the Mets. Just win a damn game so we can feel good for 10 minutes.

  16. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Ike Davis with a scoreless inning against the O’s. One hit, one walk, and one strikeout of some unfortunate soul.

  17. mdmcommish - Aug 16, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    As if we haven’t suffered the ultimate indignity yet, I smell the no/no, how did I ever cross over into the Legion….

  18. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Ross knew that was gone as soon as it left his hand.

  19. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    And the Nats take there sub .500 record into Colorado. Just when you think it cant get any worse. It Does.

  20. manassasnatsfan - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Just talked to Span said he feels great.

    Just read Ross blinked before Bumgarner.

  21. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Just a depressing and pathetic baseball team. Thank you Don Mattingly for giving us the first game. LOL

  22. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:14 PM


  23. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    Wait we gotta hit? WHOO HOO Margarita time.

  24. bleacherbumerik - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    At least we have $500 million tied up in Werth, Zimmerman, and Scherzer. I feel sorry for Bryce knowing that he has to stay on this team until his contract expires in a few years. That great dynasty that Rizzo talked about ended before even winning a playoff series. What a joke.

    • nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:21 PM

      Well Spoken. Dan Snyder just refuses to fire Vinny. Get MW outta here.

  25. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    BABIP Blues. Oh, Lordy I got ’em down to my BABIP shoes.

  26. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    everything will be fine. we got the Rockies coming up. OH WAIT

    • rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:30 PM

      Nobody here would trade Joe Ross for Babe Ruth.He is a nice prospect period.

      • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:51 PM

        He IS a nice prospect. The league adjusts and you need to adjust back. Happened to Harper in 2012… started off hot, then got handled for a month or so before he pulled it back together late in the year.

        Ross needs to do the same.

  27. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:29 PM

    SHUT UP FP that was not a tough play for Bryce. What a bunch of crybabies. Just pathetic.

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      Do NOT, under any circumstances, listen to a Cardinals game.

  28. nattygoats - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    Nats are possibly the worst team in baseball right now.

    • rlndtln - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:42 PM

      Rendon O for the series and Danny can not play.

      • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:47 PM

        If you don’t reward decent play and sanction ineffective play… what are you the manager for?

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      The only thing we may ever agree about is: If this tailspin rids us once and for all of Matt Williams it may be worthwhile in the long run. He may or may not be “to blame” for this or that problem with the team, but when you see a collapse like this it’s symptomatic of something deeply, deeply wrong.

      They’ve gone from losing tough, close games to getting themselves blown out early and throwing fuel on the fire.

  29. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:02 PM

    Wow MadBum…. helping himself way more than he needs to…

  30. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    As Casey Stengel once said, looking down the bench at his 1962 Mets: “Is there anyone here who can play this game?”

  31. Stpnat - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    We can bitch all day about MW and I know injuries are a huge part of the story but this is a complete team wide failure plus Rizzo’s over confidence in the pen

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    I’m surprised that MadBum went out there for the 8th…

  33. RoadApples - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    It is quite obvious that it is indeed Matt Williams fault.
    Re: the pitches left half-heartedly in the zone by both Ross and Jansen and hit for bombs.

    • stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      Score runs.

      Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • dcwx61 - Aug 16, 2015 at 8:42 PM

      he sure aint helping.
      Maybe managers don’t do anything…who needs a manager.
      Leaders, motivators, are useful.
      Luckily, ‘MW is a robot.
      We Will Keep Grinding, keep grinding, keep grind…

  34. manassasnatsfan - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    Reed Johnson also in Potomav

  35. stoatva - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    It’s kinda like “every man for himself” out there these days.

  36. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    1 win in California…. Yikes….

  37. Big Red W - Aug 16, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    2013 all over again. Except this season is worse because we had a chance. At least in 2013 they never had one.

  38. rabbit433 - Aug 16, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    I’m going to the Sept. 20 game to check out the minor leaguers. But it won’t be much different from what we are seeing now.

  39. kiawah51 - Aug 16, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    Why does MW do press conferences. Just record one after a loss and don’t waste his and any one elses time. These media guys are sheep. Haven’t heard one tough question this season

  40. Jfmii - Aug 16, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    I actually watched more golf than baseball between 4 and 6:20 (fast-paced game, thanks for administering the beat-down quickly)

  41. scnatsfan - Aug 16, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    Is it the legion of doom if the sky is actually falling?

    • npb99 - Aug 16, 2015 at 9:04 PM

      Complete collapse. I think the question of whether MW should be fired is now legit. He seems to have lost this team.

      • sunshinebobby - Aug 16, 2015 at 9:48 PM

        Absolutely agree, NPB99. MW is a robot, and the team seems to have quit on him. No fire. Why Espi wasn’t playing today against Mad Bum falls directly on him. Rendon, Werth are killing the team. Storen’s demotion seems to have affected the entire team. MW has lost this team.

        Anybody have Jim Tracy’s cell number?

  42. Johnny Nats Nan - Aug 16, 2015 at 10:37 PM

    The Nats will get hot in September. It’s coming down to that final series in Citi Field.

  43. Section 222 - Aug 16, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    Only 66 comments on this thread kind of says it all. Of course, MNF wasn’t here so that would account for another 66. Still, the team is in the doldrums and so are it’s most ardent fans.

    This weekend could have ended the Nats season for all intents and purposes. But thanks to the Pirates, we’ve still got a chance to turn things around. the Mets magic number is 42.

    • janebeard - Aug 17, 2015 at 12:25 AM

      I had the same thought. I was flying during the game and couldn’t comment. But. Whoa. Hard.

  44. manassasnatsfan - Aug 16, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    Since I know it didn’t effect the outcome, how was the ball and strike calls today?

    Better then usual? Worse than usual? Or mediocre like usual?

  45. lesatcsc - Aug 16, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    Okay, for the more sombre fans, and recognizing the R Zimm may rebound and hit .450 the rest of the way, Storen may not allow another run and so on and so forth and the Nats win 36 of 40 to runaway with the division, let’s consider that the season ended today. If you were Rizzo, what would you make of the mess this bunch made of 2015. Can you blame it all on injuries? And if you do, how do you move forward with that in mind? What’s to say this bunch won’t be injured as much next year. Certainly Werth and RZimm seem a very poor bet now to play more than 90-100 games in any given year. maybe less.

    So what would you do? If the season had ended today, what lessons can be taken from this to prevent next year from being the same or worse? Do you:

    a) let Desi, Span, JZimm and Fister leave;
    b) decide to use Werth as a bench/platoon player and get an everyday LF that hits LH;
    c) decide that RZimm is NOT the everyday 1B or hope that he will be the player he was three or four years ago;
    d) make a bunch of moves with the BP to get rid of starters and extra closers and get middle relivers, possibly while fixing LF and 1B;
    e) consider a new first string catcher
    f) none of the above; or
    g) all of the above?

    Or do you put this all on MW, run him out of town on a rail and hope that most of the players have a better 2016 or accept that the manager never swings a bat or throws a pitch?

    If you”re Mike Rizzo, I think you’re very happy the season didn’t end today and you’re really hoping some of these questions answer themselves before you have to deal with them.

    • simalex - Aug 17, 2015 at 2:30 AM

      a) they all walk, that i think is a no-doubter at this point. Desmond’s #s and trends are terrifying; Fister has evaporated; Span is healthy but aging and his health is obviously going to be extremely concerning. I see no value to be had in tying up $ in any of those players.

      b) you could write a dissertation on what the hell to do w Werth; an incredibly complex situation there. on the one hand, i think you can make the educated guess that a full offseason w no surgeries will get him back to form. he has been one of our most consistent offensive players — his OPS track record for us has been outstanding — and having him both out and ineffective has been devastating this year. i have serious doubts about his present health, while obviously he’s “ok to play” — i am just not sold on his wrist being anywhere near what it needs to be, and that’s an issue only time can fix. on the other hand, his fall-off has been so unbelievably severe that trying to lock up LF with a younger, starting caliber player seems reasonable as well — but werth would be making a ton of money to ride the bench. this is a really really thorny one.

      c) RZ simply cannot be relied upon to be both healthy and effective, even though he can be extremely effective on offense and defense. but there’s really no other option to him, other than to have a C-Rob/T-Mo type of player backing him up. i think having Espinosa really learn to play 1B as well as LF could address a lot of issues.

      d) baseball prospectus did a study that showed spending $$ in the bullpen is among the least efficient ways to spend money, and that has everything to do w relievers and the inherently small sample size involved in judging their work. I don’t know who’s going to be available as an FA. clearly a lot of work has to be done there. i wonder if guys like austin Voth, or even giolito get looks out of the bullpen next year?

      Rivero is part of the solution. Tremens’ stuff is tantalizing enough to earn him work but who knows if he’ll ever figure it out. Barrett has had a bizarre season and i have no idea what he’s all about I know Storen and Papelbon will be under contract for next year.

      I personally — and with no inside information, just pure twitter-jockey speculation on my part, doubt that drew Storen will be on the team next year. I think we flip him for something. 1B? LF? a new starting C?

      e) absolutely hell yes try to find a new 1st string C — Ramos is not getting it done in any phase of the game — while being mindful of Severino’s development.

      re: williams. i don’t see Rizzo canning his guy this soon. i think the seat is hot b/c of twitter jockeys (myself sadly included) but Rizzo doesn’t seem like the type to make a move just to make a move — because the thing that i can’t understand about firing MW is what it would actually fix, other than to say that they fired someone. And rizzo doesn’t seem like he’d put up w that kind of reasoning. Firing MW isn’t going to fix Max’s wonky arm slot. So — i think we stay the course w MW.

  46. simalex - Aug 17, 2015 at 2:30 AM

    edit: Span is *effective but aging…





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