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Game 130: Nats at Cardinals

Aug 31, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images

The schedule over the season’s final five weeks is favorable to the Nationals … except for the next three nights. That’s because they must face the best team in baseball inside a park where that team has been nearly unbeatable. The Cardinals are 84-46 overall, a staggering 46-19 at Busch Stadium. And the Nats, of course, have had all kinds of difficulty winning in that park; they have lost seven consecutive games in St. Louis, their last win coming in Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS.

So, the Nationals face a stiff challenge the next few nights. At the same time, the Mets will be hosting the Phillies, the same team they just swept in a 4-game series last week, scoring a ridiculous number of runs along the way. Talk about a potentially pivotal series for both clubs…

As for tonight’s game, Yunel Escobar returns to the Nats’ lineup after three games missed with a hyperextended neck bruised right hand. Which means Anthony Rendon moves back to second base and Danny Espinosa moves back to the bench. Jose Lobaton also is behind the plate, back working with Gio Gonzalez after Wilson Ramos caught the lefty’s last start (which was not a good one).

I’m unfortunately not in St. Louis for this series, but I’ll be watching along with all of you and will have remote analysis in the morning. In the meantime, enjoy the conversation…

Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Gametime: 8:15 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 186/859
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF

LF Jayson Werth
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Yunel Escobar
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
CF Michael Taylor
LHP Gio Gonzalez

3B Matt Carpenter
RF Stephen Piscotty
SS Jhonny Peralta
CF Jason Heyward
C Yadier Molina
2B Kolten Wong
1B Mark Reynolds
LF Brandon Moss
RHP John Lackey

HP Bill Welke
1B John Hirschbeck (cc)
2B John Tumpane
3B James Hoye

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    All right, then, fellas. Score more runs than the other guys.

  2. Doc - Aug 31, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    Yunie and Mickey T. back in action.

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!

    This is really some what of a do-or-die series!

    • natsguy - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:52 PM

      They are a better team without Yunie.

  3. micksback1 - Aug 31, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    We need to keep this at 5 games or less coming out of St Louis.

    Was at game yesterday….enjoyed it. Not sure what is up with Stras but one thing is clear, he is injury prone and if this is something to do with conditioning it is on him period. after 6 seasons this is now ridiculous

    • jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      Everything you read about Stras tells you it is not in any way lack of professional effort (including conditioning)

    • therealjohnc - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      If by “injury prone” you mean “before this season had not had a significant injury issue since his 2010 UCL injury and was second on the team in innings pitched over 2013-2014” you would be correct.

      • micksback1 - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:09 PM

        with all due respect over the past 3 seasons, Stars has been on the DL more than Gio and J Zim who of course have been part of the rotation since 2012. (not counting Max or Fister in this mi x)

        I do not know how this stat is mathmatically coorect based on the DL time stras has spent since 2013? It alos seems that he goes back on the DL quicker than the other pitchers. As i have posted before, I believe there are ceratin sats that make players look better than they are and nota s good as they are. i knwo, i am not the only frustrated with stars going on DL what seems like 2 times aseason

      • jd - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:28 PM


        You can get frustrated but injuries happen. If you’d ever had back pain you’d know that it’s pretty debilitating.If you think Stras should tough it out and play with pain you saw what happens when he lives at 92, 93 fastball instead of 95,96, he gates hit.

        BTW, The Cardinals are without Wainright (for most of the year), Adams (most of the year and Holiday (much of the year. It’s remarkable they have been able to win at the pace they have with 3 huge pieces out, speaks mostly to the general excellence of their pitchers. I’d like to know who their pitching coach is and see if he has a twin brother.

      • therealjohnc - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        2013-2014 Innings Pitched:

        Jordan Zimmermann: 413
        Stephen Strasburg: 399
        Gio Gonzalez: 354.1

        2013-2014 Games Started:
        Jordan Zimmermann 64
        Stephen Strasburg 64
        Gio Gonzalez 59

        And of course Strasburg wasn’t put on the DL in 2012, he was shut down. So whether one agrees with that decision or not, you can’t hang that on him at all. The difference between Strasburg and JZim in workload those two seasons amounts to seven innings per season. That’s a pretty thin reed to hang a “fragile” tag on someone. Especially since you can toss one of those 7 innings out because Strasburg got thrown out of a game for (what the umpires thought was) retaliating against the Braves to protect Harper. An action applauded by many of the fans who then turn around and think Strasburg isn’t “tough.”

        So essentially the guy answers the bell for three seasons, but you “feel like” he isn’t around as much as the other guys … when he’s starting as many or more games and pitching as nearly as many or more innings?

        As D-Span would say: C’mon, man.

      • Hiram Hover - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:49 PM

        I am not the only frustrated with stars going on DL

        All due respect Mick–you frequently do this thing where you take a statement about yourself–“I am frustrated”–and turn it into an accusation against the player–he is weak, poorly conditioned, etc etc. And usually it’s a false or exaggerated accusation.

        Yes, we’re all frustrated with what’s happened with Stras this year. Him probably more than any of us. But the idea that it’s proof of a general pattern of injury or fragility is a load of malarkey. He started 64 games over 2013-14–the same as JZim, and pitched almost as many innings (on average, less than 1/3 of an inning less per game). Gio had 59 starts. Fister had 57.

      • mnmindc - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:20 PM

        The only thing I will point out is that Stras did have a short stay on the DL in mid-2013 for some shoulder tightness and then he did have surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow after the 2013 season, which I vaguely recall was used as a reason he started slowly in 2014. And of course this year he’s been on the DL multiple times. So while he certainly pitched plenty of innings in 2013-2014, I do think there’s some actual reason why fans have a perception that he’s more fragile than others. Not saying it’s fair but he’s made more trips to the DL than Max, JZ, and Gio in his career. And he’s at least two years younger than JZ, the youngest of those three.

      • jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:23 PM

        Rob Dibble lives!

      • unkyd59 - Aug 31, 2015 at 7:33 PM

        Thanks, Realjohn…. Seems Like Mick’s a little confused, tonight…

    • bowdenball - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:05 PM

      We’d have to win the series and have the Mets lose a home series to the Phillies, or sweep it and have them win their series 2-1, to get it to 5 games or less.

      As wonderful as that would be it seems next to impossible. The goal should be to keep it at 5.5. The Nats will have a big opportunity to pick up ground starting Thursday with a home game vs the Braves while the Mets take the day off, followed by three more against the Braves while the Mets visit the Marlins (and hopefully a healthy Giancarlo Stanton) followed by three at home against the Mets.

      Those seven games are the Nats’ big chance. It’s very easy to see them making up two games or more during that stretch. The St Louis series is just about staying within striking distance before launching our offensive starting on Thursday evening.

      • jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        Yes, that sounds about right

      • jd - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:42 PM


        Any way you slice it the math doesn’t look good. The next 3 days have the potential of going very badly. The way I deal with it is by focusing entirely on tonight’s games and hoping for surprise results.

  4. jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    They need to win this series like every other. Unlike the two popular winter professional leagues, it still means something to make the playoffs in baseball. If they don’t win two of three, then they don’t really deserve to be post-season participants. I will hang until there is no mathematical tomorrow; but from where I sit, winning two of the next 3 would make coming up short in the end a lot more palatable.

    • therealjohnc - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      If they don’t win two of three, then they don’t really deserve to be post-season participants.

      Well, generally, I guess; although hanging your hat on any three game set in baseball is a hard way to judge deserving participants. Even if they manage to lose 2 of 3 to the Phillies the Mets may well prove to be worthy of the post season. Even if the Nats sweep (!) the Cardinals they could still face plant or come up short. I don’t remember the 2009 Yankees sending back their WS trophy because they somehow managed to lose 2 of 3 at Yankee Stadium to the woeful 2009 Nationals. In an odd bit of symmetry, despite winning the series in the Bronx the 2009 Nationals managed to lose the same number of games (103) that the 2009 Yankees won. Baseball.

      • jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:16 PM

        Agree with what you say. And given their record, one certainly can not say they deserve to make the playoffs if they do win this series. I could also have said that if would make me feel better (more than 3 games out of 162 should) about this dismal season if they win this series against the very-good Cardinals

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      Since when did “deserving” have anything to do with it?

      If MLB truly wanted to go on that basis, they should do away with the wild card, and the playoffs this year would probably be 3 teams from the NL Central and the Dodgers.

      • jfmii - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:04 PM

        Just my internal scales.

  5. ArVAFan - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    And I thought Yuni was coming back from a HBP on the hand, not from the neck injury. Or maybe he’s just been hit on the hand so often this year that I’m getting the injuries out of order?

    • Mark Zuckerman - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:19 PM

      Whoops, you’re right. The neck injury was the previous week. With due respect to Yunel, it’s been tricky keeping track of all his 2-to-3-day injuries this summer.

  6. langleyclub - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Yunel has a better bat than Danny (although Danny has more extra base power and speed), but the Nats are weaker defensively at both 3B and 2B when Rendon moves to second and Danny doesn’t play. Right now, it doesn’t even seem like a close call that the Nats are overall a better team with Rendon at 3B and Danny at 2B as opposed to Yunel at 3B and Rendon at 2B.

    • jd - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      It actually is a close call. Putting offense and defense together both players are 2.0 WAR although Danny has accomplished it in less playing time. I do think that Danny offensive game has regressed some in the past month or so. Also what I am not taking into account in my analysis is the improvement you get at 3rd base with Rendon over Escobar so I guess in the end I do agree with you.

  7. Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

    OFF-TOPIC, sorry, but there is no topic for Nats Fans Hangouts. If there were, this would be hot news, I daresay:

    Duffy’s Pre-Opening Wing Feast
    Sept 13, 1pm to 4pm

    Nothing Goes together Better than Duffy’s Wings and Nats Baseball!
    We still have a bit of time before the paperwork is done on our liquor license. In the meantime, please join us for a Pre-Opening Wing Feast and Nats Viewing Party.

    **Please note no alcohol will be served, and you cannot bring your own. We cannot have any alcohol on the premises until we get our liquor license, which will be very soon

    Sunday September 13th 1pm to 4pm
    $15 per person
    Unlimited Wings (no carryout boxes)
    Non-Alcoholic Beverages included
    Nats vs Marlins and Redskins vs Dolphins on all the TVs
    Sound on the Nats up front, and on the Redskins in back.
    Open 1pm til the end of Nats and Redskins games.

    Kids with parents are welcome.
    Under 12 price – $10

    We Hope to See you then!

    Grand opening will be soon after. We’ll let you know as soon as we do!

    In the meantime, please continue to support our IndieGogo Campaign:

    Copyright © 2015 Duffy’s Irish Pub, All rights reserved. Posted with permission.

  8. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      So does this help us, or Mets fans? Or am I just still holding some “Come on down!” scar tissue?

  9. knoxvillenat - Aug 31, 2015 at 5:47 PM

    Have to say I’m very disappointed that Mark is not in St. Louis for this series.

    • janebeard - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:47 PM

      Me too. These games are potentially note worthy. They ought to have sent him.

  10. Steady Eddie - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:04 PM

    I like Yunel hitting fifth. Zim is far more of a power threat but Yunel is a classic dependable keep the line moving kind of hitter, so if the top of the order gets on a roll in any inning, he’s the least likely guy to deflate it other than Bryce.

    • natsguy - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:56 PM

      Actually Yunel hits into an extreme number of double plays.. They are a better overall team with Rendon at 3b and Espinosa at 2B.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:47 PM

        Escobar is one off the league lead for GIDP, with 18 (Matt Duffy and Aramis Ramirez have 19). Guys who hit a lot of ground balls tend to hit into them a lot.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:48 PM

        That said, I don’t think I agree they’re better with Danny in the lineup instead of him.

  11. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:41 PM

  12. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 31, 2015 at 6:56 PM


  13. natslive - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Question – with all this talk about HRs was looking for where I could find the stats for how many of a teams home runs are solo shots. Tried fan graphs and baseball reference but couldn’t find it. My gut tells me the Nats have hit more solos than the avg team but looking for stats to back this up. My gut says that at least 1/2 of Nats homers are solo but that’s probably too high. Thanks

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      Just off the top of my head, you might try the game logs.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:34 PM

        Looking just a little deeper, the Nats are third in the league in HR (136 going into play), well above the NL median (117), so they have more home runs than all but the Dodgers and Rockies anyway, which means they should have more solos than most, based on that alone. So there’s that.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:34 PM

        Looking just a little deeper, the Nats are third in the league in HR (136 going into play), well above the NL median (117), so they have more home runs than all but the Dodgers and Rockies anyway, which means they should have more solos than most, based on that alone. So there’s that.

    • Hiram Hover - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:30 PM

      There are probably better ways to do it, but both bbref and fangraphs let you look at splits–you should be able to take those #s and do a little math or look at where they rank.

      I checked FG – The Nats have 136 total HRs, 3d in the NL, and 76 HRs with nobody on–6th in the NL. So pretty good. % wise, 56% of Nats HRs are with bases empty, vs. average of 59% for the NL. Again, better than average.

      So your gut is right about 50% plus, but wrong about the Nats being worse than average.

      Go to this link at FG, and use the pulldown menu for splits:,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=9,d

      • natslive - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:54 PM


      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:00 PM

        Yes, thanks HH.

  14. Joe Seamhead - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:26 PM

    Great send by Hendly? OK, but I think that we’ll just take it, eh?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      It probably wasnt.. snickers… but I was screaming Run Home Bryce…. in the comfort of my living room.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:36 PM

      Under the circumstances, must-win, if it was close enough to score it was a good send.

  15. natsfansince62 - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Buckle up. It’s Gio time. 😀

  16. philipd763 - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Gio is really bulking up. He used to be a bag of bones and now he is huge. Last 3 games he has allowed 14 runs and 20 hits over 12 innings.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:39 PM

      He’s listed at 6 ft, 210. Hard to tell from here if he looks bigger than that to me. I don’t think he was ever a “bag of bones.”

      • philipd763 - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:54 PM

        He used to be listed at 5’11” 180.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:16 PM

        Did he? When was that? He’s grown an inch since then. Unusual for a grown man, but OK.

        Still, I’m 6, 184, and nobody anywhere has ever implied I was a bag of bones.

        At 5-11, 180, that’s roughly a BMI of 25.1, which is technically overweight. 6’0, 210 comes out to roughly 28.5, so maybe that’s why they added the inch to his height. 😉

      • philipd763 - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:28 PM

        Okay, maybe my term “bag of bones” was a a stretch. My point was he used to be slender, now he is much heavier and way more muscular.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:47 PM

        I hope it’s muscle. Some guys used to try to put on a little for the summer, since they tend to lose it in the heat, and they feel it helps their endurance.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:01 PM

        Upon further review — IRL discussion here, someone remembers the Nats wanted him to play a little heavier, from back in the spring. So there’s that.

  17. Joe Seamhead - Aug 31, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    Nice rip for a two bagger by Werth.

  18. Joe Seamhead - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Hey, Mark Zuckerman? When was your last road trip to cover the Nats? Should we pass the hat for you?

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:08 PM

      Wasn’t it Pittsburgh?

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:14 PM


      Maybe we could go back to the original Nats Insider and have everybody kick in a $100 or so!

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:17 PM

        A noble cause, Knoxville, but my spare baseball discretionary income is invested in a tab at Duffy’s. 😉

  19. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Bada bing…. Bada boom… nice DP….

    • unkyd59 - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:15 PM

      That’s a professional play, right there… I don’t care who y’are…

  20. bleacherbumerik - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Nats doing what they do…Cards doing what they do…end seasons of bad teams.

  21. Drew - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    A classic Gio meltdown inning.

  22. philipd763 - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    As Boswell stated in todays WP, the starting pitching is the problem.

  23. unkyd59 - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    I remember when Gio was always clean shaven, and got a haircut on the way to the park, every day he pitched… He played good then, too….

    • natsguy - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:54 PM

      Played well. He had good games then.

  24. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    All started with a walk…. after having the first batter in an 0-2 count…

  25. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Lackey schooled MAT right there…

  26. veejh - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Big moment here.

    • veejh - Aug 31, 2015 at 9:45 PM


  27. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    First pitch swinging is going to be the death of me…

  28. unkyd59 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    I take it back. Nice effort Gio! Way to knuckle down.

  29. Drew - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Siegrist Out!

    • texnat1 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:27 PM


  30. unkyd59 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Still The Face

  31. Section 222 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Way to go Zim. Carpenter is going beserk over Siegrist staying in the game. He needs to do his research. Siegrist is the Cardinals second best reliever. They just acquired Cischek and have been letting him pitch the 8th some, but Siegrist has pitched the full 8th inning for much of the year. He also has 6 saves. Methany put him in because of the chance he’d face Bryce and he was not going to take him out.

    Glad Zim got him. Woo hoo. Time to shut this game down guys.

  32. Drew - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Baseball Rasputin.
    They just won’t go away.

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:42 PM


  34. exposremains - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    Thats what happen when you build your bullpen with guys that used to be good and unproven rookies

  35. raleighnat - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    Is there some reason Jannsen had to pitch until he gave up the lead. Is there some rule that Storen can’t get up until his designated 8th inning. Shouldn’t you adjust whena guy is struggling? I just don’t understand. How big could this game be?

    • raleighnat - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:45 PM

      I mean how big does the game have to be before you shoot all of your bullets? I feel like Williams likes to manage with an arm tied behind his back.

      • nats106 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:50 PM

        They guy is the polar opposite of having the midas touch. Everything he does turns to lead.

  36. pchuck69 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    If this doesn’t get Matt Williams fired, I don’t know what can.

  37. exposremains - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Typical Cards..not trying to hit 5 run homeruns and just hitting smart

  38. raleighnat - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Oh goodie. Jeez!

  39. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Bleep again.

  40. philipd763 - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    That was a catchable ball.

  41. abqnatsfan - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    That is crushing. Not good.

  42. exposremains - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Thats why they dont belong in the playoff. Zim takes care of business and they cant shut the door. If they do pitch they dont score.

  43. Danny - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Cardinals baseball

    Jayson is awful in left

  44. exposremains - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    The Cards own the Nats. Sad but true for 4 years now.

  45. donniebenth - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    I just don’t understand sticking with Jannsen there.

  46. janebeard - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    argh. argh argh.

  47. naterialguy - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    I’m really getting tired of Matt. Almost as tired as I am of the cardinals.

  48. abqnatsfan - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:57 PM

    Coming from behind to take the lead late – you have to hold it if you want to have a serious chance to close the gasp to the Mets. With Rosenthal for the 9th, you can’t squander a 7th inning lead.

  49. Doc - Aug 31, 2015 at 10:59 PM

    Wad? Did Williams forget about Treinan??? Discouraging big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    I can only assume Papelbon was not available after pitching 4 of the last 5 days, and Storen was going to close. Otherwise, I can’t see why MW didn’t bring Storen in to get the last out in the 7th when it was clear Janssen didn’t have it.

    • pchuck69 - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:06 PM

      Janssen frequently doesn’t have it because he doesn’t have an out pitch.

      • NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:10 PM

        Janssen’s been good but he wasn’t getting those close strikes that he depends on. If he’s even a little off, there’s no margin for error–as you are correct, he doesn’t have like a killer slider or something.

    • abqnatsfan - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:07 PM

      Once Janssen doesn’t have it, he needs to be replaced. By any live arm to try and stop the bleeding. The rest is just noise.

  51. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:12 PM

    Also, I’ve said this before, Werth MUST play deeper. He doesn’t have the legs to play shallow and drop back. But he should have caught that anyway, he misjudged it. It was catchable even where he was playing.

    • NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:14 PM

      OR put den Dekker in for defense. You have the two run lead. Don’t assume you are going to lose it and need Werth’s bat. DEFEND THE LEAD.

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:16 PM

        That. Simple sometimes. They over complicated it tonight and it showed. Get a lead late, hold it. Do what is needed to hold it.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:16 PM

        That’s what I had expected.

      • Karl Kolchak - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:38 PM

        For all of Rizzo’s yapping about the importance of defense, to take the lead and then leave Werth in LF and Escobar at 3B is inexplicable.

      • pchuck69 - Sep 1, 2015 at 12:56 AM

        Williams isn’t that smart.

  52. exposremains - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    Amateurs! Unbelievable

  53. Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Add manager to list of off season needs.

  54. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    Incredible how they manage to lose games they coulda/shoulda won.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:23 PM

      Ask MW why he didn’t play match up baseball and he had 2 lefties available…

      I cant with him.

      • senators5 - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:37 PM

        Unfortunately, It has become perfectly clear; the Nats are what they are…OVER RATED and BP poor!

  55. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    I didn’t expect to win this game with Gio vs Lackey. My figuring was we’ll get the one tomorrow, and then hopefully Max can recover his Ace-dom and beat Wacha, and that’s how I thought we could get 2 of 3.

    But Gio pitched well, put up a “Quality Start” and kept us in the game. And then Matheny gave us the GIFT of Siegrist. Whatever was going on with their bullpen, we had the benefit! So, man, I just HATE that we gave it back. We will have to win the 2 of 3 just to stay 6.5 back because I don’t see the Phillies winning a game.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:43 PM

      I had us winning tonight and tomorrow…. and losing with Max as I don’t have faith in him right now.

      I am not a happy camper. Ready for a change of managerial regimes. Tired of this ineptness.

      • NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:49 PM

        I don’t have a lot of faith in Max either, and Wacha is a tough nut. But sooner or later Max has to get back on track, right? Right? Man, I wanted to win this game. You get FIVE runs and a late lead and you are supposed to WIN THE GAME.

        The only “good” thing is Storen and Papelbon both rested. Let’s get seven good innings from Joe Cool, put up some runs against the substitute and get it tomorrow. Better still, put up a BUNCH of runs, blow them out, and get seven good innings from Max on Wednesday + Storen and Paps.

      • Karl Kolchak - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:51 PM

        Problem is, a change of managers is not nearly enough, and swapping rookie Turner and Ross for Desmond and Zimmermann will be a net negative at least for next year. Other changes needs to be made, which means Rizzo’s going to have to swallow his pride and admit he made mistakes putting the 2015 squad together, and ownership is going to have to be willing to either eat the remainder of Werth’s contract or accept having a $21 million bench player next year.

      • NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:55 PM

        KK–I could see Ross being almost Zimmermann’s equal, I could see him being an All-Star, even as early as next season. But I agree on Turner.

        As for Werth, we knew from the beginning he would be an expensive bench player at the end of his deal. So be it. A righty bopper on the bench to match with Clint Robinson is not the worst thing–assuming Robinson is not a fluke.

  56. NatsLady - Aug 31, 2015 at 11:51 PM

    Rendon looks tired.

    And Matty must come to grips with how bad Werth is in LF, especially late in games when his legs are “heavy.”

  57. stoatva - Sep 1, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    Bottom line is: A championship team has different players picking you up every night. An also-ran has different players letting you down every night.

  58. JayB - Sep 1, 2015 at 3:46 AM

    Bottom line is we need Manager that is helping not hurting…..MW rarely gets any move right…..he could flip a coin and do better with his BP moves. It is so past time to fire him…..players play the game and they need a lot of change there too…that is coming with all the Free Agents but Werth has to sit with a lead and Rendon has to play 3rd every day……..Manager makes those moves and if MW did some of these things we would have a better record by say 5 wins….sounds good right now huh?

    • nats106 - Sep 1, 2015 at 5:33 AM

      Couldn’t sleep either, eh. Well another thing it did show the Cardinals fans who have been complaining about Matheny what a really truly bad manager looks like. They are thanking their lucky stars they don’t have MW.





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.
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