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Mets 8, Nats 7: Disastrous 7th inning dooms D.C.

Sep 8, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT

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There are ways to lose a game. And then there are ways to really lose a game. And then there’s what happened tonight at Nationals Park. It was as painful as any loss this team has ever suffered, ranking alongside postseason heartbreakers, arguably even tougher to stomach than those. At least in those instances, the opponent beat the Nats. This time, the Nats beat themselves. Or, more specifically, their bullpen did.

Only moments after Michael Taylor’s bases-loaded, single-plus-three-base-error left the crowd in a frenzy, with the Nationals opening up what appeared to be a commanding 7-1 lead entering the seventh inning, everything collapsed in a manner that defied explanation. Relievers Blake Treinen, Felipe Rivero and Drew Storen combined to give up six runs in the inning, walking six batters along the way, two of them with the bases loaded, letting New York tie the game in stunning fashion.

Then, with no reliable relievers left at his disposal, manager Matt Williams was forced to send Jonathan Papelbon to the mound for the top of the eighth, only to watch as the closer served up the go-ahead homer to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Everything from that point out felt like a slow funeral procession. The Nationals couldn’t rally against Tyler Clippard (returning to pitch in D.C. for the first time since his trade last winter) or Jeurys Familia, and thus were dealt a devastating blow to their already long-shot chances of winning the NL East. They’ve now lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five in a row to the Mets, who have opened up a 6-game lead in the division with 24 to play.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: For the second straight day, it’s a hit in which four Nationals scored. But the two couldn’t have happened in much different fashion. Wilson Ramos brought everybody home with a towering grand slam Monday afternoon. Taylor did the same on a sharp base hit up the middle, then getting some major help from Yoenis Cespedes, who came charging for the ball in center field but let it skip right past him and nearly all the way to the wall. Taylor, playing with a banged-up knee, had no choice but to kick it into fifth gear and race 360 feet around the bases as the crowd roared. Who knows what Taylor’s knee felt like at the end of that romp, but here’s guessing that didn’t matter too much to the rookie in that moment. By night’s end, it might have been an entirely different feeling.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: In a season full of middle-inning bullpen meltdowns, this somehow eclipsed anything that came before it by miles and miles. Handed a 7-1 lead in the top of the seventh, Treinen, Rivero and Storen simply could not throw the ball over the plate. And it just kept getting more and more painful to watch. Combined, the two relievers issued six walks in the inning, one apiece with the bases loaded. The crowd was in agony throughout, Storen’s teammates helpless but to watch as the right-hander threw 17 of his 22 pitches for balls. By the time Matt Grace began warming in the pen, it was too late. Storen did somehow keep the game tied, but where does this outing leave him? And what confidence do the Nationals have in him moving forward?

KEY STAT: After going hitless in three at-bats tonight, Bryce Harper is now 0-for-20 in his career vs. Matt Harvey.

UP NEXT: Wednesday night’s series finale features another high-profile pitching matchup. Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.35) returns after having his last start skipped due to a stiff neck, set to face Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.40).

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    I can’t wait NOT to go to tomorrow’s game. I hope Bryce is not mad at me! But then he’s going to San Francisco first chance he gets, so I really do not care what he thinks of the fans of Washington. So long punk!

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:37 PM

      By next season I’ll probably have calmed down, but right now Bryce can KMA.

    • Guapo - Sep 9, 2015 at 4:43 AM

      Cards fans may be the best in baseball, but Nats are the most sensitive. Go Nats!

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    Didnt agree with Jordan coming out in the 6th… but what a colossal fail by the BP. Drew needs a new home. It’s just inexcusable.

    • natslive - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:43 PM

      Agree. With this BP you almost want to just leave the starters in but of course their arms would fall off. I love JZ but don’t see him wanting to stay no matter how much the Nats offer him.

  3. wvpastorphil - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    Well, us fans blew it again……

  4. snopes1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    Hey Bryce –

    I was at the Nats Opening Day in 2005 and every Opening Day since. My wife and I have attended at least 20 Nats games every year from 2005 until now. Unless we’re sick or there’s some pressing reason, we NEVER leave until the end of the game.

    We have tickets for seven of the remaining games, Bryce.

    Would you like them for your family and friends? I don’t even want to see this team play the first inning, much less the eighth.

    You had a better view than me, Bryce. From my vantage point, I saw Felipe Rivero – QUITTER. I saw Blake Treinen – QUITTER. I saw Drew Storen – QUITTER OF THE CENTURY.

    Was it any easier to watch from right field, Bryce?

    Trash the fans, if you want. But this was sickening.

    I’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars to watch Nats teams that I loved lose 100 games. And enjoyed every minute.

    But watching quitters is no fun.

    And Matt Williams – really? You’re going to have Anthony “Two Bags” Rendon bunt? Really?

    • ccallahan15 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:45 PM


  5. abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    There is data and there is information. The data shows that over time Storen has a very good ERA and gets folks out. The information shows that over a period of years, when the season feels on the line, he gets tight, nibbles, and can’t get it done.

    He seems like a great kid, but I don’t see him getting over this fatal flaw easily.

    • coop202 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:38 PM

      Sometimes it’s just not your year… Would have loved I lost the division to a. Actually decent baseball team. Still a sliver of a hope but there’s definitely a window going forward with a good manager. Unless the mets pony up they won’t be better than average next year

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:42 PM

      Yet knowing all this Rizzo traded Clippard instead last offseason. How much do you think Tyler enjoyed THIS victory even if he’s too classy to admit it?

  6. lesatcsc - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    What a disaster. It’s hard to like this team right now.

  7. exposremains - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    Not watching another game this year. Will look at the scores just in case they fire MW or something significant happen. I’m done. Unprofessional, Ray said it they are Major leaguers. Unacceptable.

  8. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:37 PM

    We need to turn to Phil Wood at this time of crisis. He is on the radio, now, telling us that Drew Storen is a great closer. He was on the radio in April, that pathetic month of loss after loss, saying “it’s early” and “losses in April really don’t matter.” Phil, the dutiful MASN marketer, will have wisdom for us.

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:39 PM

      Phil Wood should be canned along with Williams and Rizzo. That guy is probably the worst sportscaster I’ve ever heard in any medium, any sport.

      • natslive - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:45 PM

        Phil’s time has passed him by.

      • abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:51 PM

        Phil was an interesting listen in the late 70’s early 80’s. The world has changed but I can’t fault him for making a living doing the best he can. And probably not a particularly lucrative living, just doing something he loves the best he can for living wages. I don’t listen to him anymore, which is my choice, but I don’t listen to sports talk anymore, life is too short.

      • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:56 PM

        abqnatsfan–I remember Wood’s radio show from when I first moved to DC in the early 90s. He’s a smart baseball guy–way too smart to pedal the BS he pedals. That’s what makes his Nats show particularly unforgivable.

  9. raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    Purge this choking bunch. Time for an overhaul. They should feel humiliated. I’m embarrassed to be a Nats fan. I’m done with this “core”.

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:49 PM

      Up until this season, I’ve been a big Rizzo supporter, but I’ve turned around so completely that I believe he should be fired along with Williams.

      It isn’t just the big club that is a shambles–every minor league squad finished under .500 this year. Even worse, to date not a single player drafted after 2011 has played a single game in the majors as of yet. Now the team will be stuck vastly overpaying Werth, Zimmerman and Scherzer for years to come while the best starting pitcher in franchise history walks out the door–no doubt happy to be leaving this horrific mess.

  10. snopes1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    My poor wife, who went to the second Nats game ever and phoned me in the second inning screaming, “This is wonderful!”

    Her take on tonight’s game: “It was so horrible.”

    We faithless Nats’ fans, who have attended hundreds of games, aren’t worthy of 22 year old Bryce Harper’s respect?

    I’m committed to next year’s season tickets already, because I foolishly bought the extra playoffs strip. But I think I might take up chess or pinochle as my leisure time activity.

    I don’t need a punk telling me that I am obligated to watch his quitter team quit until the bitter ninth inning.

    I was there until the ninth yesterday, as always. No more.

    This is the most disappointing team of my life.

  11. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    Couldn’t agree more Snopes1. After Bryce’s insults for the fans of Washington, I checked out. It was really nice, tonight, being at home, getting some things done that I had put off for months during the season.

    I loved doing some basic things in the house, instead of watching millionaires insult me on TV.

    This is a mental team that sucks. It’s all it is. They panic and they jitter and they choke. This has been their history. Rizzo says he recruits character guys–but what good are character guys who are chicken?

    I’ve expressed a lot of anger at Harper, but I should thank him: he gave me the rest of September back. Thanks Bryce, and please depart for San Francisco as soon as you can.

  12. ogremj - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    Tony 2 Bags, not Tony Sac Bunt.

  13. Candide - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    It occurred to me I’ve never seen “The Bad News Bears.” Maybe I should put it on my Netflix queue.

    • sunshinebobby - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM

      You actually saw it tonight, Candide.

  14. Mike Gallagher - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    If you want to point a finger at a quitter, start with your mirror. And yeah, finish there.

  15. raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    I think this is a blessing in disguise. We are freed from false hope and can now move on with our lives. This team is the weakest mental outfit I have ever seen and we are saved from the embarrassment of having them embarrass themselves further because at least everyone will now write us off. These guys need to slink in the the shadows and hope people quit talking about what a joke they are as quickly as possible.

  16. philipd763 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Don’t forget who constructed this pathetic bullpen….Mike Rizzo. He needs to be held accountable. He’s had all season to fix the mess but didn’t do it.

    • raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:49 PM

      I’ve been a Rizzo defender but right now I’m done with him too.

    • abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:52 PM

      To be fair to Rizzo, there has been some massive under-performing in the BP. But yeah, he needs to rethink his trust in that area.

      • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:54 PM

        Being fair to Rizzo means giving him his severance pay on his way out the door.

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:53 PM

      Rizzo set the bullpen up for failure last offseason by trading Clippard instead of Storen and not bringing in any other veteran arms save for the corpse of Janssen. When I think of how many areas on this team could have been addressed for the money they gave Scherzer it makes me sick.

      • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:08 PM

        BINGO …. Give that man a prize!

      • npb99 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:21 PM


    • tcostant - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:34 PM

      This is the second time he screwed up pen, in 2013 he went into the season with no lefty other than long man Zack Duke. We shouldn’t signed Andrew Miller and passed in Mad Max.

  17. snopes1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:55 PM

    And while I’m venting, “Yo, Jayson Werth, stop being an a*sh*le to Dan Kolko. It’s not funny seeing a multi-millionaire bully a working man.”

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      +1. And I’ll bet Kolko has never been arrested for driving 114 MPH on the beltway, either.

    • abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:09 PM

      yes. Werth’s behaviour to the working folks in the media over the years has really been unseemly. They are trying to do their job and make a living and he routinely treats them like dirt. Not the best impression from someone who has over $100M for playing a game he loves.

      • raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:26 PM

        Let’s call it like it is. Werth is a jacka$$

  18. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    Raleigh–could not agree more. I made a long post in 2014, describing, and giving a good working definition, of the Nats as a “mental team.” Of course all the geniuses, NatsLady and the rest, on this board, said I was way off. But this is a mental team.

    – Look at Gio flailing in the field, walking guys who were 1-for-20 in the playoffs, in SF last year.
    – Look at the jittery and worthless defense of Desmond in the spring, and his “swing 150 percent of potential intensity” ALL YEAR LONG this year.
    – Look at the worthless and unreliable bullpen.
    – Look at Rendon, always laughing out loud while he does nothing at the plate.
    – Look at Ryan Zimmerman, moved to first, not because of shoulder problems (an MRI was proclaimed normal) but because of the yips–claiming the title of the Nick Johnson of his generation.
    – Look at Stras–a glass menagerie come to life.
    – Look at the front office, bringing the seniormost Lerner to the table to seal the deal for the ultimate albatross in baseball history: Max Scherzer.
    – Look at Williams, the least imaginative manager in MLB history.
    – Listen to Harper insult the fans who have led the NL East in attendance year after year.
    – Watch them choke in every marquee game, every major opportunity, and every nationally-televised contest.

    This is a mental team. Period.

    • sunshinebobby - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:09 PM

      You forgot Drew “Slider in the dirt” Storen.

      • breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:11 PM

        I agree with you SSB.Another true mental case on this team.

    • oldtownatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:18 PM

      Rendon laughed his way to fifth place in the MVP race last year, but ok…

    • raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:21 PM

      I am a sunshine squad guy but these guys have ruined me. I have NEVER felt this disgusted in my baseball fan life. 2012? Ok, they arrived as a contender earlier than expected and froze in the bright lights. 2013, ok they struggled building on their success but and sorta choked but I gave them a pass. 2014…ok, warning signs that these might be serial chokers but still holding out hope. “Where’s my ring” and then this garbage…uh uh. I’m done for 2015 and I am hoping for a major overhaul this offseason. Desi, fister, zimmermann, and span gone. Good. Gio, Stras, Storen, Ramos, Werth (if they could), should be traded. And good lord if I see Barrett or Jannsen or treinen again in a Nats uni I think I’ll barf. I’ve got a soft spot for Zimmerman but to heck with the rest. Harper signs long term this offseason or I’d put his a$& on the market too. Heck I’m even sick of rendon. Yuck yuck yuck.

  19. philipd763 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:03 PM

    Where is Rizzo hiding these days?

    • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:21 PM

      His booth is right behind my section. We’ve noticed recently that after losses he hightails it out of there as if his pants are on fire. He never used to do that before.

  20. donniebenth - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    So bummed. Can’t believe it, but I’m now looking forward to football season.

  21. Nats Fan Zee - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    One positive note …. Won’t need to scramble for playoff tickets

  22. mwstatsguy - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    I didn’t get to see the game, just heard it on radio. Was everyone standing when Pap gave up the winning run??

    But then –
    “[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

    ? A. Bartlett Giamatti, Take Time For Paradise: Americans And Their Games

    • npb99 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:23 PM

      That quote is such sentimental drivel.

  23. ehay2k - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Was at the ballpark, to the bitter end, and in hindsight I wish I had left at the start of the 7th. That 7th inning will go down in my book as one of the lowest moments in Nats history. MW needed to have other options ready in case Storen for one, couldn’t get it done. Was Fister not available? Why bring up Grace if you don’t plan to use him in a game with a 6 run lead?

    I also question the pitches called by Ramos: I will watch thr replay but hey looked down and in, down and away, when the HP ump wasn’t calling low strikes all night. It’s like we were afraid we’d get marks on the ball.

    In any case, the pitches he called seemed to destine the pitchers to fall behind. Cat needed to go read the Riot Act to the battery after the first walk, not the fourth or fifth. The only guy who pitched like he believed in his stuff was Papelbon, and it pains me to say it. (By the way Pap, we were all standing and cheering loudly with 2 outs in the 7th until I think the whole ballpark realized it unsettled our pitchers at which point we just sat down.)

    The bullpen guys and Ramos need to do some serious soul searching.

  24. tcostant - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    All I have look forward to know is dollar hot dogs…

  25. philipd763 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    makes no sense to fire MW unless Rizzo goes too.

  26. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    …for quite a number of years. This organization is snakebit and broken in a thousand different ways. Starting pitching is broken, bullpen is broken, manager is broken, all the mental cases are broken, Werth and Scherzer old and infirm, JZimm about to leave when we should have kept him, third rate defense at 3rd and left and catcher, and on and on an on.

    Truly an organization proclaimed healthy and fit for the future, when the truth was it was weak and jittery and mental and broken.

  27. BatBoy - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Would not trust Drew Storen at all ! Bratty Boy I say! Nats took his Closer spot away, gave it to Paps! Drew is God Awful for a reason! He is pitching awful as payback! He’s gone anyway next year! But he is Gona make us suffer as a payback! He is not to be trusted at the plate! Wouldn’t be suprised if he had Vegas in his back pocket! NO MORE DREW!! Or made deal with his x roommate Clipp to throw game!!! How awful this loss is and was!

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    MAT in the park grand slam was awesome… park was electric at that point. Had a good feeling walking into the park…

    That 7th inning, was just crucial on all levels. Drew and his failures, he has worn out his welcome. Just saw the post game show and I agree with Ray about how 3 of the biggest games of Nats history (yeah yeah) Drew has been in and not done his job.

    Look forward to him not being a Nat next year and I wish him well wherever he goes.

    • snopes1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:27 PM

      Mrsb loves the Nats – Ray isn’t smart, but he does have common sense. Drew has failed in three crucial moments. This time, you could see it on his face from the first batter — he was choking before he threw the first pitch.

  29. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    Both Clint Robinson and Tyler Moore were available to pitch in relief. Why not give one of them a chance?

  30. nats106 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    I was there to see the unraveling of a team. Blame the inability to throw strikes on the pitcher? Sure? Blame Harper for calling out the fans? Why not?

    This loss, along with innumerable others, lies squarely on the incompetence on the guy at the helm. Williams should be fired tomorrow. His total disregard and inability to manage in game has cost this team enough already.

    Fire Matt Williams on September 9th Name Knorr the manager. Move on from this debacle. He is likely the worst manager to manage to a 500 record.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:30 PM

      Honest question – and I am not an MW supporter – but what did he do wrong tonight?

      I have issues with him taking our Jordan and not letting him pitch in the 7th… and then bunting Anthony…

      But blake and Rivero and drew failed in a low leverage situation…

      • raleighnat - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:33 PM

        Yeah, Williams may not have helped but this is squarely on the bullpen’s execution and their inability to handle even the slightest pressure.

      • nats106 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:35 PM

        I don’t know where to start-I wish you were in Sec 106 to hear me predict our implosion because of his incompetence. I’ll start with pulling Zimmerman when he did. Finish the inning. He was strong. 2nd, sometimes saves occur in the 7th inning. Bring your closer in to save the game-damn it that’s where we lost it. I could go on and on…….UFB the last time I was this down was 6 years ago, but this really hurts and hits a new low. He’s just an awful manager. GReat ball player, awful manager.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:40 PM

        I mean, I agree that MW is awful… and I agree that Jordan shouldn’t have come out. Said it at the time. I also would have let him pitch the 7th and of 1 gets on, then go to the BP. And then had Paps go for the 8th and 9th….

        But the score was 7-1, how Blake or Trienan and specifically Drew Storen can’t throw strikes…. in a low leverage situation, that’s the bigger fail.

      • jfmii - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:56 PM

        Murphy has owned JZnn throughout career. W Znn’s high pitch count, letting him face Murphy was a train wreck waiting to happen. Nowhere to turn recently-starters and relievers have been pretty bad

      • nats106 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:06 AM

        to jfmii-what’s more important? The train wreck waiting to happen or the one that just occurred?

      • sportfandc - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:24 AM

        Yes, Thornton to get JZim-owner Thornton was a brilliant move. JZim was at 98 pitches. Then it all went to hell real fast. I’m thinking Thornton should have been left in, but all the pen had to do was get 3 outs and give up, say, 3 or few runs. They couldn’t come close.

      • jfmii - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:57 AM

        Nats106-hindsight 20-20

  31. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Rizzo will never fire Williams because Rizzo and Williams are the same person.

    • nats106 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:33 PM

      Then Lerner should fire him as well. Tomorrow. Give him his choice. It is the franchise or Williams. That’s how bad it is right now. Gain respect, or thrown into the maelstrom of Angelos/Snyder era in Baltimore Washington sports.

      Do it now-if nothing else, to gain respect from the fan base-they build a franchise, not the GM, not the Manager and certainly not the players. Matt Williams CANNOT manage in game. This is devastating and we are now a laughingstock. If Collins really wanted to rub it in our face he would bench DeGrom and bring up a minor leaguer to pitch tomorrow.

      • Karl Kolchak - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:41 PM

        One big problem that has revealed itself this year is that having Rizzo handle all aspects of the team’s off field management has been the real disaster. This is why most teams have an executive over the GM with real power. It keeps the GM from doing arrogant things like hiring a yes-man manager and leaving a supposedly World Series contending team open to being sabotaged by a bullpen implosion.

      • tcostant - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:43 PM

        I’m with Doug here, if Williams is not fired I am seriously considering not renewing my season tickets. If Williams is back in 2016, the season will get ugly.

  32. abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:46 PM

    These are an awful lot of posts for an after game late night thread. Seems the Nats have really struck a nerve with the way the last week has gone – four massive blown games against quality opposition – all games with a lead late. Not much you can do now to save a season, but there need to be consequences at some point if the Nats want to keep a positive fan base.

    • jfmii - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:59 PM

      Not that many posters, just a lot of repetitive ugly posts by the same few posters

      • stoatva - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:10 AM


  33. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    Good point KK. Just a mess–a mismanaged mess and mental team, from top to bottom.

    I was at Natsfest last winter, when Rizzo told us that Jansen would more than cover for Clippard, Really Rizzo–did you mean that?

    • naterialguy - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:27 AM

      That’s BS Tyler was still on the team at natsfest. Stop making things up. The truth is bad enough without childish embellishments.

  34. whatsanattau - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:50 PM

    Oh my goodness you people are out of control. Blame the players, blame management, blame, blame, blame. Lighten up. Torches and pitchforks are not necessary. Competing for who is the most victimized fan is rather sad.

    • abqnatsfan - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:53 PM

      You are welcome to walk around the deck of the Titanic while the lifeboats drift away saying “people, people, what will happen will happen, no benefit from getting upset about it”. heh

      It is just a game, I don’t think venting frustration is a crime, but hey, if you are calm, all the better for you.

      • nats106 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:04 AM

        Much more polite way than I would have put it, thanks. Keeps me from becoming a bigger jerk than I am tonight. But I’ve been there, I see it, I see the failure happening, and more importantly, I see what this team should have been, and is not.

        From the dictionary: Manager: someone who directs the training and performance of a sports team; especially : a person who directs a baseball team.

        Where does responsibility lie?

  35. breakbad1 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    Sorry you missed it, WNT, but we’re looking for the path to a better baseball team. The current group of clown owners, GM, manager, and players isn’t working for us. Re-read all the posts; you may get it then.

  36. hummel26 - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:56 PM

    Wow, Rizzo really created a mess with this bullpen. Also, how on earth was Storen allowed to stay in that long? Williams pushed his button, I guess, and had no forethought that he might need to push another. Wow.

    I went over to my buddy’s house for a short music jam session with the score 7-1. I was a little surprised that the wrap-up show was still on when I headed home. Then I just couldn’t believe what happened as the announcer described it. Just couldn’t believe it. If you think of the three 5-3 leads that wound up as 8-5 losses, and then this one, that’s a six game swing in the standings. They hold those four leads, they’re tied for first. No way should you lose any of those games, but losing four is just a massive failure.

    Storen is done in DC. I just don’t see how he can recover from this, not here, anyway. DC fans aren’t cruel, thank goodness, but still, he’s done. Rizzo has to take the hit on this bullpen. MW is not a great bullpen manager (what if he’d had Pap up and brought him in the 7th to save the game and the season? He never rises to the occasion as a manager), but this bullpen is burning down this season. Arson.

  37. simalex - Sep 8, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Bryce is the only guy on the team, basically, who’s done much of anything this year. A lot of really pathetic efforts and our bullpen is the worst I’ve ever seen. A lotta guys coming up small when they’re needed. Gutless play from the bullpen, and I think it will cost both Rizzo and Matt – deservedly – their jobs.

    • ccallahan15 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:13 AM

      I’m guessing there will be no changes. The owners aren’t will to start over. So they’ll go the Philadelphia route hang on forever to what they have. But unfortunately all the guys Rizzo “scouted while he was on AZ” have been brought thru our doors in some form or other. Nothing left in the bag of tricks now.

  38. breakbad1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:06 AM

    I think we should blame Kasten. He promoted Rizzo. He knew, in promoting Rizzo, he was picking a guy with 1000 percent self-adoration, a guy who would never question himself. A guy who would choose,for a manager, a clone EXACTLY like himself. Kasten saddled us with the monotonous messrs Rizzo and (by extension) Williams, and we are paying the price for it now.

    How I wish we had chosen Bo Porter for our manager when we had the chance. Now we have to live with this bloodless jerk Williams.

  39. raleighnat - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    I’m telling you I’ve been a positive, never give up, love our guys kind of fan. But I’ve just hit my limit. This is a theatre of the absurd. You really couldn’t write up a script that is more uncomfortable. In some ways this isn’t get mad bad. It isn’t even get sick to your stomach bad. This was so bad that it is the “other people are embarrassed for you” kind of bad. Rivals probably started with “serves those arrogant ‘where’s my ring’ Nats right”. But as they watched the 7th they start thinking “this is hard to watch” because it was so pitiful. And it probably triggered their empathy reflex for just how pitiful it was to see fellow members of their species that anxious and under duress. This was a pride stripping, emasculating, where can I go hide kind of bad that happened tonight.

    • naterialguy - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:40 AM

      I feel your pain

    • Reverendp - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:28 AM

      Ding ding ding. You are correct sir.

  40. naterialguy - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    I am truly amazed. I have never seen such chilDish and mean spirited postings on this blog. Yes the bakErs blew it. But as awful add the bullpen was the posters tonight are worse.
    I will continue to go to and watch the NAts games because I love the team and baseball. It’s a game. It’s a past time. If you don’t find the joy and the agony tho be worth your commitment then perhaps you’re just not ready for baseball in all its forms both good and bad.

    • raleighnat - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:40 AM

      Sorry, the posters aren’t as bad as that bullpen was.

      • naterialguy - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:41 AM

        Well it’s close

      • snopes1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:50 AM

        Naterialguy – There are lots of ways for us to spend our time — traveiing the world, volunteering to help the poor, working on our stamp collections, getting really well rested by getting enough naps for the first time in our lives… there is no moral superiority to being “faithful Nats fans.”

        If being a Nats fan is no fun, there’s no shortage of other things for us to do.

        For me, it is fun when I see people try their dead level best, even if they fail. It is not fun for me when I see people come in out of the bullpen and consciously REFUSE to do what’s best for their team. All the bullpen needed to do with a six run lead was throw the ball over the middle of the plate.

        They chose not to do that. Yes, “chose.” Anyone with MLB talent can throw a strike. But those who care more about their individual statistics than the team winning will decide not to throw strikes with a 6-run lead in order to protect their personal stats and image.

        That’s what we saw tonight, especially from Storen. Storen, who’s always talked a good “team man” game, chose to try to play the corners so everyone should realize that he should still be “the closer.”

        I will never believe that someone of Drew Storen’s ability tried to throw center-of-the-plate strikes and ended up throwing 7 strikes and 15 balls.

        Drew Storen chose to nibble for his own self-aggrandizement. Any statements he makes to the contrary are phony BS.

        Drew Storen is all about Drew Storen, not about the Nats. He knows how to throw a strike and chose not to do so when it mattered the most.

        I doubt the Nats can get much for him, but he needs to be traded.

  41. breakbad1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    Thanks Naterial. Gosh you have taught me so much. I will go to restaurants now and accept lousy food. I will go to hospitals and accept lousy care and be happy to receive hospital-caused infections. I will gladly pay my mechanic to not only not fix my car–but BLAME me for not being a happy customer. And I will happily thank the IRS for screwing up my return and messing up my entire financial life.

    You have taught us all so much.

    It is true, as the Buddha said,”When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

    Please teach us further, Naterial! You are wise and instructive.

  42. breakbad1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 12:46 AM

    Please Naterial I need more of your wisdom…please post again right away!

  43. naterialguy - Sep 9, 2015 at 1:07 AM

    SOrry breakbad if I interrupted your misery. My bad.

  44. thecack - Sep 9, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    Good lord.

    If you are calling for Rizzo to be fired because the bullpen collapsed this year after he took a calculated gamble, you need to find a new sport. I am as mad as anybody else that this season has gotten away, and Matt Williams deserves to be fired, but….

    This team was AWFUL before Rizzo and probably 25 other teams would be happy to have him. He has built a foundation of success that has us pretty well set up for the future even if a bunch of events that NOBODY saw happening (Werth/Zimm/Rendon/Desmond/Ramos/Span combining for 20-30 less WAR than last year, Fister sucking, Stras being hurt and pitching poorly for 3 months when not on the DL) hit us this year.

    Go back to trying to put Jay Gruden’s head on a pike, its about that time of year.

    • Guapo - Sep 9, 2015 at 4:37 AM

      So nice to have someone here who understands the game, nice post. Although, Strasberg’s durability is something that should be a concern at the start of each season, given his track record.

  45. pausecoaching - Sep 9, 2015 at 5:12 AM

    Weak sauce team, mental midgets.

    I’d get rid of all the choking players and it’s not the whole roster. But, if you follow the team, you know who they are. The problem is wild inconsistency. 2 good games, then 2 bad ones. There is no way to predict which team you are going to get, except when the going gets tough. You know they’ll lose then.

    It has to come down to a glaring lack of leadership. They might all get along, but every good team has some folks that stir the pot and shake things up. I wonder if Papelbon is trying to do that, maybe Scherzer?

    Storen – needs no explanation
    Trienen – great stuff, but walks too many and chokes repeatedly
    Janssen – awful, time to retire
    Strasberg – epitome of mentally weak
    Gio – maybe worse than Strasberg
    Fister – I wouldn’t call him a choker, just lost his stuff
    Ramos – there is a reason Lobaton has a better W-L record
    Desmond – great talent, great guy, but shaking defense
    Escobar – I think his average is misleading. Bad defense, bone-headed plays. Let him go.

    Rebuild around Bryce, Rendon, Espinosa, and Michael A Taylor.

    500 hours of wasted time this year watching the stinking Nationals!

    • micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:16 AM

      agree with you and it will take 1–3 seasons to get that window back. The Mets in 2012 were terrible and they are back in 3 seasons. I now question if Rizzo is the guy, I do not know

      Ramos is WORTHLESS, at times he does not even swing through the ball, looks like and oaf

      Nats are a very over rated team that overall has no heart or guts

  46. richardp6 - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    All I can see in my head is MW standing in the dugout like a statue with no one warming up in the bullpen while Storen demolishes any remaining hopes for the season. Can a manager choke I ask?

    All I can see is Rendon being told to bunt at 3-1 and then unsuccessful

    All I can see is Papelbon giving up a pinch hit home run.

    All I can see is SPRING TRAINING on the calendar.

  47. richardp6 - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    The worst part is the Nats beat themselves last night. The Mets had little to do with the implosion. Storen will probably not see another outing this year unless they are up 15-0 and even then we’ll all be a little nervous.





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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