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Game 127: Marlins at Nats

Aug 28, 2015, 3:36 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

The Nationals suffered three blows last night, with Michael Taylor and Yunel Escobar getting hurt and Denard Span going back on the DL only two days after returning, but they did manage to win the game and their series against the Padres. They’ve won 6 of 9 now, with a chance to continue the trend this weekend against the Marlins.

So, where does that leave the Nats? Well, they’re going with Bryce Harper in center field, Danny Espinosa in left field, Anthony Rendon at third base and Trea Turner at second base (making his first career start). We will see how that all works out…

Max Scherzer, meanwhile, is on the mound, looking for a return to dominance after a rough month. Scherzer was much better last time out after making some mechanical tweaks, which he hopes carry over into this outing.

Updates to come, so please check back…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184/869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF

RF Jayson Werth
3B Anthony Rendon
CF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
LF Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
2B Trea Turner
RHP Max Scherzer

MARLINS (51-77)
2B Dee Gordon
RF Ichiro Suzuki
3B Martin Prado
LF Derek Dietrich
1B Justin Bour
CF Marcell Ozuna
C J.T. Realmuto
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
LHP Adam Conley

HP Lance Barrett
1B Dan Iassogna
2B Dale Scott (cc)
3B C.B. Bucknor

7:05 p.m. — And we’re underway as Max Scherzer fires a fastball to Dee Gordon for strike one.

7:22 p.m. — And the Nats are in a 1-0 hole after a 2-out rally by the Marlins off Scherzer. Martin Prado lined a single to right, then scored on Derek Dietrich’s double off the wall in right-center. So Scherzer’s struggles continue. The Nats got a 2-out single from Bryce Harper (who has now reached base in eight of his last nine plate appearances) but that was it against Adam Conley. So it’s 1-0 Miami after one.

7:36 p.m. — So what you want about his overall season, but Ian Desmond has certainly turned things around over the last month-plus. He just launched another opposite-field homer to lead off the bottom of the second, his ninth in his last 36 games. Over those 36 games, he’s hitting .300 with a .359 on-base percentage and .562 slugging percentage. 1-1 game after two.

7:56 p.m. — Max Scherzer, for whatever reason, simply hasn’t been the same pitcher this month he was the previous four months. He just served up a towering, 2-run homer to Prado on a 2-2 fastball. It’s the sixth homer Scherzer has given up over his last 18 innings. He gave up 3 earned runs or more only five times in his first 21 starts this season. He’s now given up at least 3 earned runs in each of his five starts this month. Not good. Marlins 3-1 after three.

8:10 p.m. — Make it seven homers allowed by Scherzer over his last 19 innings after Marcell Ozuna launched one to center field to lead off the fourth. That came on a fastball well up in the zone, another problem for Scherzer during this rough stretch. Conley, meanwhile, has allowed only the Desmond homer and a couple singles through four innings. 4-1 Miami after four.

8:24 p.m. — Like Desmond, Wilson Ramos has rediscovered his power stroke recently. The Buffalo just sent a ball soaring over the left-field bullpen, his third homer in five games. This one cuts the deficit to 4-2 after five innings.

8:55 p.m. — The Nats keep chipping away, though they missed a golden opportunity to tie the game or even take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. They loaded the bases with nobody out, knocking Conley out of the game and bringing in rookie Kyle Barraclough to face Ryan Zimmerman. Zim just got under a 2-1 pitch and skied a ball to deep center for a sac fly, but Desmond struck out on a slider down and away for the second out. After Espinosa drew a walk to load the bases again, Ramos smoked a comebacker, only to watch as Barraclough deflected it straight to Gordon, who tossed to first to end the inning. So it’s 4-3 Marlins after six.

9:10 p.m. — Credit to Scherzer: He buckled down after the early struggles and wound up retiring 12 straight batters following the Ozuna homer. Seemed like he eschewed the fastball some and relied more on offspeed stuff to get guys out. He’s done after 7 innings, having kept this a 4-3 deficit for his teammates.

9:33 p.m. — Try as they might, the Nats can’t push across the tying run. They went down in order in the eighth, with three straight groundballs against Bryan Morris and Mike Dunn. So it remains 4-3 Miami heading to the ninth, the Nats down to their last three outs.

9:55 p.m. — That’ll do it. The Nats can’t push across the run they need against closer A.J. Ramos. They lose 4-3, a frustrating way to begin this series.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:39 PM


  2. langleyclub - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    Any update on MAT’s status?

    Obviously, he is out tonight, but is he expected back in the short term or does his injury appear to be severe?

    • bowdenball - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:55 PM

      Word on the street is no DL stint but at least a few days of rest needed.

    • bowdenball - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:56 PM

      And just as I typed that the beat writers tweeted even more optimistic reports, saying he feels like he can come off the bench tonight and is greatly improved. Says he thinks it looked much worse than it was.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:27 PM

        That’s great! It really didn’t look good.

    • unkyd59 - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:31 PM

      One time I took the corner of the coffee table, right to the kneecap, at normal walking speed. Thought I was gonna die! Before I could hobble into the bedroom (20′) there was half a ping pong ball sticking out, and I could not bend it, at all… Hobbled to the kitchen, iced it for about 20 minutes, the pp ball went down, and I slept well. Sore the next day, but it was over in a couple of days. I thought of that last night, and hoped for a similar result… I was convinced it was broken… Whew!!!!

  3. NatsLady - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Max, pitch good. Trea, get a hit. GYFNG.

  4. npb99 - Aug 28, 2015 at 3:56 PM

    Won 6 of 9 – not bad, but not good enough. Need to catch fire.

  5. Nats Fan Zee - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    Good luck Denard ,,, my family and I will have you in our prayers:

    • natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:28 PM

      Aw, bummer about Denard. No knock on Taylor but have missed him.

  6. letswin3 - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Maybe 3T will have a good night in his first career start. We could use some good vibes about now.

    • bowdenball - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:26 PM

      Funny thing is, we’re playing great lately. The bad vibes are entirely because of the Mets’ crazy run. We’ve lost t 1 game over the last week and we’ve lost 1.5 games in the standings.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:29 PM

        Ya know, deez Mets are really getting on my nerves. 😉

  7. Doc - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    Seriously, that is a pretty good lineup–on paper!

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:30 PM

    On a game note, hope that Max has his mojo going and our bats and defense follow suit. Go, NATS!!

  9. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    • letswin3 - Aug 28, 2015 at 5:32 PM

      I’m hoping he’s back tomorrow … after a stern lecture about how walls don’t listen to your mother.

  10. coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    Go Nats! Also Much much easier to root for the Red Sox than the Phillies. No more lucky 1-3-1 ridiculous kick stop luck please.

  11. Drew - Aug 28, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    Let span walk in free agency unless he takes a significant pay cut. Let Taylor take over in center full time or sign another out fielder and move Bryce to center

    • Karl Kolchak - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Crap on the poor guy while he’s injured, why don’t you. Span played his tail off for this team and certainly deserves more respect than this.

      • Drew - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:58 PM

        No disrespect at all intended to him.. But the injuries are starting to pile up and he’s not getting any younger.. It’s about what’s best to win ball games moving forward.

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 28, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Taylor even tweets politely.

    As much as I would like Escobar to recover quickly, it would be nice to play w/ Top Grade defense at 3B for a while. The difference between Rendon and Escobar became clear in a matter of seconds. So my choice is that Turner hits and Escobar gets a rest of about four days.

  13. 3on2out - Aug 28, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    May I change the subject briefly? Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see any NI horror at the increase in season ticket prices for ’16. Mine jumped over 35%! That is some nasty icing on this bitter cake of a season…

    • nats106 - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      You may (change the subject). Yes I encountered the same percentage increase. At nearly the same time I am reading in Boswell’s WAPO article that we should expect more of the same unimaginative managing as Rizzo has the Lerner’s confidence and Williams has Rizzo’s so do we look forward to the same? In all fairness, Rizzo’s effective moves and drafting have created a winning team that is in WASHINGTON. In all my years living here I only experienced that once until the past 4 seasons. By the way, it’s a great feeling because I lived in St Louis 1984-1986)

      So I have now a quandry. Over the years I have moved from sharing 6 seats in the first base box at RFK with 5 other people to having 2 in left field that are MMAM (mine, mine all mine). First I loved going to games, second the pricing structure made it affordable, third the Lerners really seemed and tried to take an interest in the fan experience. Fourth, but no less a factor I somehow felt that my lame two season tickets helped stick it to Angelos who said DC wasn’t a baseball town.

      Now, as a season plan holder I have to buy an extra ticket to get experiences like seeing the 80’s cover band live at the Miller lite party deck, or buy an extra ticket to get a stupid pet calendar. I know that’s really just trivial crap, but so is the NatsPlus program when you think about it. It’s trivial crap that people enjoyed. NatsPlus indeed. It’s more like Nats Minus now.

      The Lerner’s, Rizzo, et all will have decisions to make this off season. I’ll have my own. I wonder if other season plan holders like myself who so vigorously encourage the season ticket holder experience now have as bitter a taste as I now have. I probably won’t commit to the forced feeding of the post season strip and I have until late in November to make a final decision regarding my season tickets. The team’s performance and the front office administration office are making what was once an easy decision very difficult.

      II don’t think that there is NI horror or indignation over this matter. That’s not really what this forum is for-it’s really about team performance. I really don’t know how many SPLHolders there are that post regularly, but this is about the team, not our aggravation with the Nats front office.

      • philipd763 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:27 PM

        Well, if you are looking for change in the managerial situation, I suspect it won’t happen. All you need to know is how long it took Rizzo to get rid of a pathetic hitting coach (Eckstein). I doubt Rizzo would ever fire someone he brought in from the Diamondbacks organization. And I doubt this team ever wins anything with the current manager. We are stuck!

    • Karl Kolchak - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      Ours went up significantly as well. One more season like this one and we may have to cancel.

      • veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:02 PM

        Blame Max Scherzer

      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:33 PM

        We have been priced out for what we are getting. We will not be renewing our four partial plan tix next year in 311. If the Nats go to the playoffs, or the World Series I will get to some of the games one way, or the other.But the policies for partial plans have gotten too rich for my blood. Been going since 2005.

    • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:59 PM

      I was unhappy with the sticker shock too, though it wasn’t quite as much in the Infield Gallery. And I agree with 106 about these special promotions. (They did the same thing with the yoga game.) I think SPH’s should complain loudly about that. As far as I know, they won’t even let you exchange your season tix for the special tickets. What’s up with that?

      As for renewing and the postseason, there’s no way I’m giving up my seats, but I can understand why some might. Really bad timing for the Nats to raise prices so significantly. I call it the Max Tax.

    • tcostant - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:25 PM

      My tickets doubled (100% increase), as the Nationals no longer will honor my Buy Two Get Two offer. Even though they renewed at the 50 percent every year on one year for three total years.

  14. jd - Aug 28, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    Let’s see. We have a 2nd baseman playing lest field. A SS playing 2nd a left fielder playing right and a right fielder playing center. What could go wrong?

    • veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:24 PM

      Just like they drew it up.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 28, 2015 at 6:36 PM

        See the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball. It’s a simple game.

      • veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:17 PM

        Pitch the ball, which Scherzer has been doing poorly.

  15. natslive - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    Let’s get that run back

  16. exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    The difference between the Mets and Nats is quite simple. The Nats are having a worst case scenario season with lots of player underachieving at the same time and Mets having best case scenario season with bunch of guys on fire.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:02 PM


    • Elkton Manny - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:18 PM

      The Mets had Wright out for most of the season, Duda was in the tank most of the year, Flores did pan out like they hoped he would, Lagares has played hurt all year, Cuddyer didn’t produce anywhere near what they hoped, dArnold has been out most of the year, Wheeler had TJS, Black has been out all year, Parnell never recovered, and Mejia has been suspended all year. Their season has been far from a best case scenario.

    • bleacherbumerik - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:35 PM

      I guess the Cardinals have had a best case scenario also…you know, losing Holliday, Wainwright, and the best hitting prospect in baseball in the offseason. Guess they are just lucky.

      • Elkton Manny - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:44 PM

        You forgot Adams, Jay, and Walden.

  17. TheBigDummy - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    Is there a bigger pain in the button to the Nats than Martin freaking Prado?

    Every time.

  18. exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    What happened to the 200M ace?

  19. philipd763 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    I don’t think Ted Lerner had this in mind when he shelled out $210 million for Max. What’s this contract going to look like in years 5, 6 and 7?

    • veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:54 PM

      try years 12, 13, and 14 when he an analyst for ESPN

  20. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Who is that 12 year old playing 2B for the Nats tonight? He’s pretty good.

  21. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    Yes, CB Buckner was the ump that night FP. And he made the right call then too.

  22. npb99 - Aug 28, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    If Max was an ace the first half of the season, what card is he now? A seven?

    • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM

      The Joker I think.

  23. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Does Scherzer think that because Lerners are only paying half his salary for this he can pitch for only half a season?

  24. knoxvillenat - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Too many innings and too many pitches by Scherzer in the first few months of the season coming back to haunt him and the Nationals here in August?

  25. exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    Scherzer has now a era higher than Tanner Roark had at the end of the 2014 season.

    • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:02 PM

      Wasn’t Tanner pretty good last year?

      • exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:07 PM

        Yes and he was making league minimum. Unfortunately, he was a one hit wonder. My point was that Scherzer bump Roark out of the rotation and now single A.

      • coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:13 PM

        He’s been damn good of late? Don’t think he’s a true one hit, though he somewhat overperformed last year

      • coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:14 PM

        Tanner not scherzer

      • exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:17 PM

        Well, in relief he’s been pretty bad

      • npb99 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:18 PM

        Don’t knock Tanner. He’s been treated poorly by the Organization this year, thrown into any and all types of situations.

      • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:01 PM

        It’s telling that Roark was sent down to stretch out for when Ross is shut down, rather than handing the ball back to Fister. I am pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of an effective Tanner Roark. He has a great attitude and I think he’ll be back next year better than ever.

  26. bleacherbumerik - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Mike Rizzo will go down as a far worse GM than Jim Bowden…said this years back. The Zimmerman, Werth, and Scherzer contracts are horrible individually, but together, have sunk this franchise for the next 5 years. Get used to losing Nats fans.

    • veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:04 PM


      • Joe Seamhead - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM

        I agree with veejh.

  27. exposremains - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Ouch the Marlins announcer just said that last throw to 1st base was a lot like how Zim use to throw ftom 3rd base.

  28. coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Oye this is pretty awful… Letting him get away with bad pitching and not even making him work. Ugly

  29. IsawTeddywin - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Scherzer needs to go on the DL , he obviously is suffering mightily from Harenitis.

  30. Serious Jammage - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    From section 241 Trea’s glove looks just fine.

    And I agree the HRs are frustrating, but if we can’t scratch 5 across vs. the Marlins what are we doing here you know?

    Last thought — this is PERFECT baseball weather.

  31. Theophilus T.S. - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    Nats offense to this point (1st and 3d w/ no outs) has been pegged to three-run homers without the baserunners.

  32. Danny - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    Shocking result from Desmond in the clutch

    • coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      Desmond doing deomd things

  33. Danny - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Mets defensively get deflections off their pitchers into outs. We hit into them. Luck is not on our side.

  34. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 28, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    A lot of activity for 1 run…

  35. Joe Seamhead - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    Any more disagreements about who should be playing 3B?

    • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      I haven’t heard anyone say that Rendon isn’t the best 3B we have. The question is whether MW should force Esco to play there when he pretty clearly doesn’t want to. You think he should?

      • knoxvillenat - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:14 PM

        Are you (dueces) saying Escobar doesn’t want to play third base?

      • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:21 PM

        Yes. It’s been reported that after missing most of spring training and starting the season at 3B because Rendon was hurt, he feels more comfortable there. I’m sure MW knows that Rendon is a much better 3B than Esco. He just has no choice if he wants Esco in the lineup, which I think we all do.

        Of course, he could say, “you’re playing 2B tonight Esco,” which is apparently what he did with Trea. But Trea’s a rookie and perhaps more adaptable at his young age. And if MW asked if he’d feel comfortable there, Trea probably said, “of course, put me in coach.”

  36. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    Somewhere rltdltn is screaming I TOLD YOU SO…

    • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:22 PM

      rintintin couldn’t take yes for an answer.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:24 PM

        He was so busy trying to spew insults etc that he didn’t take the time to read others posts. Had he done that, we’ll things may have worked out differently for him.

  37. veejh - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    You know what, I’m not mad at den Dekker. He’s been pretty good off the bench.

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    I’m going to be all kinds of livid if we lose this game.

  39. coop202 - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    MW what are you doing

  40. Karl Kolchak - Aug 28, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Cripes, this game was exactly like Wednesday night when I was at the stadium. Plenty of chances to win against a bad team but once again they can’t get that one key base hit.

    Bob needs to stop telling us the score of the Mets game during the telecats–if they can’t beat the stripped down Marlins it is utterly irrelevant.

  41. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    Mets have tied the Bosox at 3-3. If they win, that’s a 7.5 game lead. I do believe there is a large woman warming up her voice in the wings.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:08 PM

      She has already been singing…. some people just have her on mute

      • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:12 PM

        Heh. True.

    • Karl Kolchak - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:28 PM

      I was at last Sunday and Wednesday’s games and both times the stands were about half full. It would appear that most fans have recognized that the team is out of it all but mathematically.

      • Section 222 - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:54 PM

        Yeah. Paid attendance in the 30K area, but I agree that the fanbase sees the handwriting on the wall.

  42. Karl Kolchak - Aug 28, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    Worse still, Hagerstown lost tonight to drop to .500. If the Suns fall below that mark, every minor league team in the system will have a losing record, which is quite a change from one year ago when three of the top four made the playoffs and Potomac won the Carolina League championship.

    Bad enough that the Nats are so disappointing–even worse that so many of their prospects have crashed and burned this year.





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)...

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