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A nightmare come true

Sep 9, 2015, 1:18 AM EDT

USA Today

In a season full of letdown losses, blown opportunities and bullpen implosions, and for a franchise that has experienced far more heartbreak than any team should through their first 11 years of existence, it’s hard to compare a regular season defeat for the Nationals to their infamous playoff disasters.

This one, though, this one was bad.

It had all the makings of a Nationals fan’s nightmare. A six-run lead vanished before their eyes. Drew Storen completely lost command of the strikezone. A lineup that dominated an opponent’s ace went dormant once he was removed. Even former ally Tyler Clippard carved them up in a key spot.

The end result was an 8-7 loss to the New York Mets, one that dropped the Nationals to six games back in the NL East. But the after-effects of this particular defeat could be felt for months.

“This one is tough to swallow,” Jayson Werth said. “This is probably the toughest loss, I’m not gonna say in my career, but it’s right up there.”

Everything was going so well when Matt Harvey was on the mound. Despite entering the day with a 0.99 ERA against the Nats – the best mark ever for a starter against one franchise through eight career starts – he was bounced in the sixth inning after giving up a career-high seven runs. That’s more than he had given up in his previous six outings this season combined.

And Jordan Zimmermann did his job as Harvey’s counterpart. The Nationals right-hander kept the Mets to only one run through 5 2/3 innings on three hits and a walk. He exited with a 3-1 lead and the Nats added four more in the following frame on what some would call a Little League grand slam by Michael Taylor.

Up six runs, Nats manager Matt Williams turned to Blake Treinen to begin the seventh inning, and that’s where things fell apart. The right-hander, who had given up runs in two of his previous three outings, found trouble again. He allowed a single to David Wright, a walk to Michael Conforto and then an RBI single to Wilmer Flores.

Now holding a 7-2 lead with two outs, Williams summoned lefty Felipe Rivero. Rivero had allowed a run in his previous outing, but was otherwise effective in recent weeks.

Rivero faced only two batters and walked both of them. The second walk, to Curtis Granderson, came with the bases loaded and scored another run to make it 7-3.

Then it was Storen’s turn. Storen was called on an inning earlier than usual, but Williams had little choice. It was either his eighth inning guy, or essentially a take-your-pick from a group of unproven rookies.

Storen got the nod and what followed was a staggering display of inaccuracy. Storen threw 22 total pitches in his quest to get one out. Only seven of them were strikes.

He began by serving up a missile of a double to Cespedes to the left field corner. It cleared the bases and put the Mets within one.

Storen then walked Daniel Murphy to put two men on and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Wright walked to load the bases again before lefty Lucas Duda came to the plate.

It wasn’t until Storen went down 2-0 against Duda that Williams decided to make a call to the bullpen, and by that time it was too late. Matt Grace barely got loose before Storen walked Duda to tie the game at 7-7.

“It’s a fine line, not trying to give in there,” Storen said. “You gotta still try to hit your spot. But the ball just wasn’t staying on the plate. I was trying to hit the outside corner.”

Jonathan Papelbon took the eighth, as again Williams went to a guy earlier than he would have liked. But, again his options were limited.

Papelbon surrendered the go-ahead run on a solo homer by Kirk Niewenhuis. It pushed the game to 8-7 and gave the Mets the only advantage they would need.

“I made one bad pitch tonight. That’s basically what it boils down to,” Papelbon explained. “That was a tough one, tough pill to swallow.”

“Tonight wasn’t their night,” Williams said of the bullpen. “They just had issues with the strike zone.”

For the second day in a row the Nationals let a victory against the first-place Mets drift out of their reach. Twice they had opportunities to put pressure on the Mets and change the dynamic in the NL East race.

They had the advantage, an opponent right where they wanted them. And again they couldn’t close the deal.

It has become a repetitive story for this team all season and after countless disappointing losses they have pointed towards tomorrow hoping for a better result. With one more game left in this series against the Mets, that’s exactly what they will do once again.

  1. snopes1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    All right. I’ve taken a breath and collected myself. I don’t believe in booing players unless they’re quitters or as*h*les.

    Two players on the Nats deserve booing. One is Drew Storen. He admitted that he was trying to hit the corners in a situation where the good of the team demanded that he just throw strikes. If I never see Storen throw another pitch in a Nats uniform, it will be too soon. He seems like a decent guy off the field, but on the field he’s a selfish choker.

    The other Nat that deserves booing until he apologizes is their best player, Bryce Harper. The fans aren’t losing these games and it’s just pitiful for Harper to think that way. Harper has more than done his part this year, but there will come a day when he won’t and he will still blame somebody else. It’s in his character — “it’s not my fault, man.”

    • Guapo - Sep 9, 2015 at 4:30 AM

      Where exactly is the quote where Harper blames the fans for losing? Maybe I missed it.

      He was asked about the atmosphere created by the fans and he told the truth. That’s the beginning and end of the story.

      Taking those words and twisting them into something bigger, then booing the likely NL MVP who carried this team on his back all season, is ridiculous.

      Harper isn’t paid to be a PR person. He’s paid to play baseball. And as of this very moment, he’s the best in the game, according to WAR. The BEST. Not one of the best. The BEST among all players in the bigs. The only person 34 needs to apologize to is opposing pitchers for embarrassing them

      Want to boo Nats players as way to vent your frustration? Fine. It’s well deserved at this point, and there are plenty up and down this lineup who’ve earned those boos. But if you hold true to the wise adage of judging a man not by his words, but by his actions, you’ll vent your frustrations elsewhere.

      • 3on2out - Sep 9, 2015 at 5:45 AM

        Well said, Guapo.

        I’ve been a Storen supporter from the get. I was of one of those that accepted his October issues as an anomaly…you know, small sample size. But I am beginning to think the sample size is now such that I am forced to recognize that Drew may not have the constitutional fortitude to handle play-off like pressure. And make no mistake, last night was an elimination game. I know, not statistically. But emotionally. There will be no play-off baseball in DC this October. I suspect the Nats will be even further back then they are now. 8 games sounds about right.

        I will be there tonight to root for Stras. I am trying to find new Season Ticket partners for 2016 to replace the ones I am losing because of a 36% (!) increase in ticket prices. I will be there for Opening Day in 2016. I’m not done. But the 2015 Nats? Get your fork.

      • JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:30 AM

        agree on Bryce…He is not the problem and I do not care what he says ever… he plays is all that matters and for a 22 year old….he plays fine in my book…..He is getting very frustrated with the organization for letting this go on all season….Rizzo and Lerner’s are gong to pay a huge premium to keep him her…..why would you stay here if MW is your manager in a make or break season with “your guys and $150M Payroll……Rizzo is may well have made his biggest mistake this past month refusing to go to Randy Knoor….a guy everyone would want to play hard for each day and a guy who has proven he will make the tough moves like pulling an over paid entitled closer or a MVP who does not run out a ground ball.

    • philipd763 - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:58 AM

      Stpren isn’t the only choker. Harper did a mighty fine job of choking over the past two games with the Mets.

  2. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 5:57 AM

    Has it finally become clear to you all?

    The only true leader on this team is Papelbon……that says it all……”To the outside observer it’s like, man, what have we got ourselves into?” Papelbon said of the uphill climb facing the Nationals. “For me personally, and I think I can speak for most of the guys in this clubhouse, we have to accept the challenge. Take it on and almost enjoy it and say, ‘Hey. This is the spot we’re in, and let’s do everything we can to get out of it.'”

  3. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 5:59 AM

    I was not the only one but sure took lots of heat for several years calling as it was….Storen is a loser…the bigger the spot the tighter he gets…..a save in June with a 5 game lead means something sure….but not a thing if your goal is to win in October….Storen proved this time and time again over the past 4 years.

  4. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    3-2…you are beginning to think…..Rizzo may need a assistant GM if you are looking…..he would relate to that point of view.

  5. Sam - Sep 9, 2015 at 6:47 AM

    “’Tonight wasn’t their night,’ Williams said of the bullpen. ‘They just had issues with the strike zone.'”

    Has any night been their night this year?

    To be fair, it would help if our started could make it into the 7th inning every once in a while.

  6. rgsie - Sep 9, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    As Ricky Ricardo would say…WHAT HOPPENED????

  7. wmlsays - Sep 9, 2015 at 6:57 AM

    I’ve been saying it along. Rizzo is overrated. He constructed this team. He hired El Choko. He hired Matt, who is simultaneously lost and unlucky. He put together rosters that are pretty good but never really good enough to take on the good teams. Yes, a great talent evaluator. As building a team with the right components. Still waiting for that day to happen. Too bad. Lots of good individual players and stand up guys. Coaching? Well, it is what it is. Today is another day. Another game to play. They are going nowhere. Missing the playoffs for two out of the last three years with a supposedly great collection of talent. They are either overrated, under performers or mis managed. This team will be HEAVILY criticized by the sports world. Too bad. Lots of nice characters. As usual for a Rizzo team, however, they are not quite a good enough collection to do anything special.

    • dcphanatic - Sep 9, 2015 at 2:17 PM

      That is a ridiculous statement. That team has won the division two of the last four years. I don’t have the exact numbers but these Nats have won more game the last four years than all but a handful of teams. I bet at the beginning of the season you had no complains about the make up of the team. Rizzo put on the field perhaps the best collection of talent that any GM had put together on day one of the 2015 season. and things did not work out. Injuries happened. Players did not perform as expected. Mets were better than anybody gave them credit for. And yes he might have been a bit too optimistic about the bull pen. Which is a mistake GMs sometimes make. It is credit to Rizzo’s good work that even when Zim, Spann, Rendon, Werth, Strass, and Stammen missed big chunks of all of the season, these Nats has a chance as far as two days ago to make a good run. Losing Clip was bad. But where would this team be without Escobar? I propose to you that Escobar was worth more wins to the Nats this year that what Clip would had brought. I think rizzo is one of the best on the game today, and losing him would be devastation to the club. Yes you are butthurt by the way things have gone. So am I. But come on, it is a game, played by grown up men for lots and lots of money. Chill.

  8. alexva6 - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    maybe Chase’s best headline ever because it is true to the point. if you think of all the potential pitfalls that could have happened to this team you saw them the last two last nights

    an inexperienced bullpen implodes in a key situation
    Storen shows that his past failures may be the norm
    RZim injuries strike again
    MW shows his inexperience
    Harper tries to do too much by himself

    I refuse to dish out the hate and anger I have read on the last two threads. rather I’ll look forward to Rizzo fixing this mess and learning from his mistakes.

    • wmlsays - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:19 AM

      He hasn’t been able to fix anything in the last few years. They are not as good this year as they were last year. Or in 2012.

  9. rabbit433 - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Sorry-ass season. Time for football.

  10. Danny - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    It’s become clear to some now that Storen is a choker!?. He he practically blown 2012, 2014 and at least 6-9 big games in 2015, including the practical knock out blow. He is beyond defending.

    • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      So I have been down on Drew as well and after last night, he should not be placed in a high leverage game again for this team, but, I have to say, in 2012, Davey could have (should have) pulled him before it was too late (like after he walked the tying runs on base). Last year, Zimm should have finished the game and for the life of me after he walked the first batter last night, why Williams did not walk to the mound and say “Drew, your next three pitches better be strikes or so help me I am going to replace you with Tyler Moore” or words to that effect is beyond me. In fact why that conversation did not take place with the in tire conga line from the BP is beyond me!

      Yes, Drew failed big time last night and in the playoffs but both managers are accessories to the crime. Davey was feeble but Matt is incompetent. Davey is retired and Matt should be unemployed.

  11. Candide - Sep 9, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Amidst all the calls for torches, pitchforks, tar, and feathers, I think it’s fair to ask how much of this is really on MW’s and/or Rizzo’s heads.

    This was a team with very high expectations six months ago. But you could make a good argument that only two or three players on the entire team lived up to or exceeded their expectations – Harper, Zimmermann, and Escobar. Everyone else – everyone else – was a disappointment. Whether due to injuries, age, or just having an off-year, almost the entire lineup failed to produce as expected.

    Every team has its share of disappointments and injuries, but they tend to be canceled out by players having unexpected good years. We didn’t see that this year. We saw Harper have his breakout season, Escobar provide better-than-expected offense, and Zimmermann live up to his usual excellence.

    But that doesn’t make up for the devastating injuries to the heart of the lineup – Zimmerman, Span, Werth, and Rendon – not to mention the players who simply didn’t produce as expected – Desmond and Ramos. That’s six regulars who should have been carrying the team, who were either on the bench or failing at the plate.

    The same is true of the pitching. Strasburg up and down with injuries and Fister and Scherzer suddenly losing it. Ross’s emergence couldn’t make up for all that.

    Can we get past the “God this team is awful we need to fire everyone in sight” mentality and ask how much of this is really on MW? On Rizzo? And more to the point, what do you do to fix it? “Burn it down” isn’t the answer.

    • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:32 AM

      Candide –

      Fact – Mets had MANY holes (including the worst offense in the NL league) and filled them at the trading deadline

      Fact – Rizzo got a closer and a handful of medical discharge forms for the walking wounded

      Your right …. How much of this could be on Rizzo and Robo Manager? Yep, as the cops say, “nothing to see here …. Move on” or as Matt Williams said all year “it’s early. We have plenty of time.”

      • dcphanatic - Sep 9, 2015 at 2:34 PM

        Ok genius lets have it. What moves could had Rizzo made on trading deadline to improve the team? What exactly would you had brought in? Who goes out? The Mets had holes and they went ahead and patch them, oddly enough, because they had the spots in the line up that needed filing. What spots were you going to fill on the Nats? Who can you get out there that is better than Rendon? Now we know Span was done, but nobody could had predicted that he would not be coming back from his injury. What would you had done? Get another outfield? And put it where? In those “medical discharge forms for the walking wounded” that you refer to the Nats have perhaps a collective quarter of a billion dollars in payroll commitment. And guess what, those walking wounded, with the exception of Span of course, are playing well. I was disappointed the Nats did not get Clip back to help with the final push. I think Storen, Clip and Papelbon would had been much better that what they have now. And it would had taken the ball away from Storen in a critical situation like last night. Everything else is drunkard, hindsight, buttsore, armchair coaching. Very undignified!

      • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 4:08 PM

        Phanatic –

        I’m going to regret this but here ya go. No surprise that our BP was mess since day one. From NI in April:

        “The five relievers who threw the most innings for the club in 2014 are now all gone (Tyler Clippard, Rafael Soriano, Ross Detwiler, Jerry Blevins) or injured (Craig Stammen). Additionally, veteran right-hander Casey Janssen (signed over the winter to take over primary setup duties) has yet to debut due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder.”

        and it never got better. So, if I were Rizzo, I might have looked for Lowe, Jepsen, Clippard or Kazmir for the BP.

        It was also clear that our starters were also struggling since the ASB. If I recall, Cueto, Fiers, Price and Blanton were all available.

        Since Desi took the first 6 weeks to field his position and the next 4 months trying to stay above the Mendoza line, Ramirez or Zobrist could have helped.

        The OF it was clear after Spans 2nd surgery that it would be a tough recovery. MAT is great but it seemed to most the Werth would be a ?? when he came back. The Nats have needed a big bat since last August … why not Cespedes?

        Most of the above mentioned players would have been rentals so when our guys were healthy, choices could be made.

        But as you point out, I am not a genius or a MLB GM but I am smart enough to know that when your competition improves you need to take positive aggressive steps to keep pace. Hope is not a strategy. Mike Rizzo making no move for a bat or BP help (other than cascading closers) is, in my view inexcusable. For heaven’s sake, the BP was broke all year. Poor Tanner went from Starter to long relief to starter to short relief to middle relief to AAA back to starter. THAT was great management.

        You may hold another view and are entitled to it without seeing the need to name call. I love this team as much as the next guy and I’m upset … because we could have done better … much better.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      BP has been questioned since the beginning of this season. Rizzo’s failure to acquire more BP help at EITHER trade deadline is really hurting.

      THis season just seems to be 1 where, if it could go wrong, it did.

      The starting rotation – Fister has a down/terrible year. SS and Gio being so up and down. Max, who is supposed to be the Ace and since the ASB is probably the 5th best pitcher of the staff.

      Starters – You said it. 6 of 8 have basically been unreliable. Its amazing where the Nats are given this has happened. But when Rizzo had the chance to get a few person (CarGo anyone?) he didn’t do it. Remember, he kept saying when the regulars return things would be better. I get it, I think we all thought they wouldnt be as bad as they were when they got back.

      Manager is a fail and has been a fail for me. His BP mgmt is terrible but Rizzo also set him up to fail by not adding when he should have.

      To me – its like 50 percent on players, 25 on MW and 25 on Rizzo.

      What I do know is that the Nats have money next year, I expect a good portion of that to be used on the BP. Also hope for another bat or two (LHB preferrably as I think we are too righty heavy).

  12. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:02 AM

    That is just loser rationalization……plenty of players picked up the slack….no they would not win 100 games like they should have but losing to the Mets…..and how they are losing to everyone with a lead…that is has nothing at all to do with injuries or underperformance across the board….it has everything to do with Roster make up….where were the extra help on Sept 1 Rizzo? and game management….MW has no clue….I see it….most fans see…K. Law and John H see it…….what you do not see it Candide?

    Burn it down……well by Rizzo design it was going to burn down after the season anyway…..he decided not to keep like 6 key players on the team over a year ago and he really really wanted to dump Storen the past two years but his ego does not let him do stuff like that…..I drafted him…..Dan Uggla style…they have to be worth keeping no matter what.

  13. jfmii - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Ever since the CarGo home run to beat Storen, he hasn’t been choking. He has just been awful almost every time out. You can’t call it choking, but you can respond quicker and get him out of the mix.

  14. Sam - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    At this point, is it crazy to think that Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito couldn’t pitch better in the bullpen than the guys we have out there currently? Bringing up a top SP prospect and using him in the bullpen in September/October has worked in the past (David Price comes to mind), and they can’t possible be worse than what we’ve seen already, right?

    Only concern is innings limits, but if they are serious about pitching Ross out of the bullpen (I doubt it), then why not? Same idea. I’d also like to see Cole get some innings as well. I mean, what do we have to lose? We’ve already lost.

  15. snopes1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    I have been the most loyal Nats fan imaginable. I’ve been part of an 81-game season ticket group since Day One and go to 20-plus games per year. I’ve traveled around the country to see the Nats play. As I said earlier, I’ve been to every Opening Day. I was there when Nook Logan overran third base in the bottom of the ninth. The Nats are a major part of my life.

    I couldn’t imagine anything that would shake my support of the Nats. But Bryce Harper managed to accomplish that with his attempt to blame the fans for the team’s poor play.

    Labor Day was the first day before school started for most Virginia public schools. The park was filled with kids on Labor Day, it was brutally hot, and the Nats’ bullpen played horribly in the 7th. How can you blame parents for going home to get ready for the next day of school given the situation.

    Bryce needs to make a heartfelt apology and I don’t know if even that will be enough.

    • JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      I for one am much more interested to hear a heartfelt apology from Rizzo ……. he got all the money any GM/Team President could ever hope to get as well as all the good will from a fan base and high draft picks from years of designed losing….and this is what he produced….Rizzo is responsible…he needs to own it.

      • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:35 AM

        How about a George Steinbrenner moment from the Learners?

    • Reverendp - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:15 AM

      Well stated snopes. First day of school factor largely ignored but profoundly impactful IMO.

  16. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    OK….the Fix is

    New Manager who knows what the F he is doing and has done it before.
    Besides the obvious …Fister, Storen, ZimmNN, Jansen, Thornton, Ian, Span types that were going no matter what happened this year……Y Escobar has no business on the field defensively….he is gone as is Geo who just like Storen has no ability to perform under pressure and is not worth the money or even a roster spot. Wilson and Lobo are both gone…..Werth needs to be told he is welcome to stay and collect his millions as a bench player. His days in the field are done and if he does not like it then we will gladly trade him to any team that will take him if we pay 3/4 of the salary….if not he sits and does not start a single game in the OF ever again…he pinch hits and DHs…that is it.

    Now you have plenty of talent left to build a young hungry team. You go get NOT cheap…not discounted…not cut by the Yankees relievers….ones that can handle pressure and not afraid to throw strikes….and hate to say but Rizzo needs this help given his history with HROD and Storen….can throw strikes.

    Most of the burn is in place by design…Rizzo needs to fire MW and not make these same types of crushing errors time and time again and is he balks just even a little…..Lerners need to fire him on the spot.

    There is my plan….have at it if you can.

    • alexva6 - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      while you never seem to acknowledge that obtaining new pieces has an associated cost and risk, you have identified many of the problems with the team as it is being fielded now. I disagree that it can be placed on Rizzo 100% but he did take some chances that backfired.

      one thing I will say is absolutely necessary, MW has to go. his in-game decisions under pressure reflect his inflexibility and are often just corrections to what he did wrong the day before. he has no feel for the game as it’s being played in front of him, his roster and bullpen management are awful and his pacing up and down the dugout last night during the meltdown had to be seen by his players. I doubt he will ever be able to regain their respect.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM

        I am not a MW fan. But who would he have put in when Drew was clearly off? I dont know that anyone was better?

    • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      Careful on Gio … He might be the best performing starter this year.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:53 AM

        Nah, gotta give it to Jordan. He has been money, for the most part…

      • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:25 AM

        Your right but Gio is in the two hole. Just think about that for a second or two …

  17. Mike Gallagher - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    One bright spot is that we’re shedding alot of whiners, crybabies, and quitters. Fans, not players. Sawx and Cub fans are laughing at all the butthurt here.

  18. JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    Mike….fans are not the problem….not the point right….focus on the product…..there is no pride in producing the type of bad baseball the Cubs Fans or Sox fans have put up with for all those years……The Nats becoming that type of team is not a prideful thing.

    • Mike Gallagher - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:06 AM

      We’ve had two years of Cubs-level bad baseball- 2008 and 2009. Losing a playoff series or falling short in a pennant race is not bad baseball. It’s baseball.

      And you’re not aware why I bring up the Red Sox? Hint: not for bad baseball.

      • JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:26 AM

        plenty of bad Sox baseball….I know I have lived in Boston…sure black cat…BS…that is just bad baseball too

      • JayB - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:29 AM

        uh Mike…I had season tickets for 2005-2012….check your facts on bad baseball in that run……2006, 2007, 2008 2009, 2010, 2011…..lots of fun times at the park but those are cubs type teams.

  19. chaz11963 - Sep 9, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    It’s amazing how much of the history of Nats’ bullpen failures are tied to Storen:

    The infamous Game 5 of 2012 when he coughed up a 7-5 lead in the ninth and the Cards scored four runs.

    2014 playoff game 2 Nats led 1-0 entering the ninth, Storen allowed a single to Posey and game-tying double to Sandoval. The Nats eventually lost in 18 innings.

    Lately- Aug. 7th, he gave up a grand slam to CarGo to blow a 4-1 lead. Aug. 9th, he entered a 4-4 game and gave up two runs to lose. Against the Cards on Sept. 1st, he came on with a 5-3 lead and gave up the tying runs; the Nats would lose in the ninth. And now last night…

  20. robertrobert104 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Well, you have Storen who s**** in his pants when there’s too much pressure, Treinen’s the same. Janssen with his 88mph fastball is a joke, the rest of the bullpen is ok, no more. Starters are done, can’t go over the 6th inning. Defense is very weak, wonder is they are practicing at all…And you have the clown without his red nose, MW….Hey Harper, yesterday was very BRUTAL!!!! Well, time for football I guess.

    • micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:09 AM

      yew, Drew is a bum we know that. But, Steve Cat sucks too, this man does not know his pitchers after 5 seasons??

  21. micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    Watched at home last night, as it was not my turn to go. Wow, wow, wow is my initial reaction to what I witnessed, the post game, Ray Knight’s SPOT ON comments after the game about Storen, the gutless softball questions by people who pretend to be reporters and of course MW’s typical, losing, crap ass comments at the end.

    On a positive note, I think the only good stories of this crap ass season are Michael A. Taylor and Clint Robinson and Joe Ross. I can not give enough praise for these young men, they are the kind of players that every coach dreams of coaching. (I hope Rizzo does not destroy Ross the way they have Max and others)

    I guess one will say and Bryce’s season overall and yes, an All star season from a young man who is a choking dog when it comes to games that matter and can not back up what he says. i am pissed at Bryce right now and expected him to become a leader in this series. He is still has a way to go.

    I could vent more but many of you have done a very good job of expressing what is the truth about this organization in 2015. I will add something else, Cat has to go, he is worthless, he steals the Lerners paycheck and has clearly no useful function for this team at all. I have said my piece on MW many times, his moves only reiforce to me that Curly Howard is a member of mensa conmpared to the jack ass of a manager this team employs. Although, MW did not lose this game last night by himslef and I put abot 25% on him.

    Drew is a loser a bum and everything else. He sucks and they need to cut his no account ass TODAY!!! Treinen is bum too, why MW would bring him back after he sucked on Monday has no logic at all. It may not have mattered anyway. Any one who blames pap is an idiot, he gave up a tater, but that is not why this no account, cowardly, gutless bunch lost this game and the season last night

    • chrisrw109nats - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:48 AM

      Bryce is a choking dog?

      Seriously, you might want to look at the 2015 NLDS. Didn’t have two bad games become he is pressing? Yes. Choking dog? Bullshit.

      • micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        0 for 8 this series right now, after blasting the fans. yes, right now a choking dog, BTW: last I checked we lost 3-1 in the series with Giants, not because of Bryce which you are correct, he was the only player along with JZim who stepped up to ,play.

  22. nats106 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I saw some comments last night about Werth’s treatment (?is that the right description) of Dan Kolko. Can anyone tell me what happened.

    Mick I was there. It was more painful in person. Last night I was really mad-but now, to quote the great Bill Murray “and then depression set in”

    • micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:45 AM

      lol, that movie.

      this team and its BP is more like another Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day

  23. Joe Seamhead - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    I am not a Drew Storen fan, but I root for him.

    There isn’t a middle inning guy in the bullpen that I have confidence in, but I root for them.

    Blake Treinen came in last night and was just as responsible for that mess as Storen was. He only needed to get one more out. He didn’t, but I’ll still root for him. Same as Riviero.

    MAT struck out a lot this year, had some TOOTBLANS on the basepaths, etc, but I root for him, just as I did all year.

    CRob is a klutz wherever you play him, but I root for him.

    Max Scherzer lost it after the AS game, but Istill root for him

    I am not a believer that Desi deserved to stay in the starting lineup after Rendon returned, but I root for him.

    It has been obvious for two years that Jayson can’t play a good outfield anymore, but I root for him.

    I don’t think that Wilson Ramos has lived up to the expectations that we all had of him, but I root for him.

    I could go on, but you get the idea. Last night was a great mix of emotions for this old boy. The knockout of Matt Harvey, the LL grand slam,and watching the air go out of the Mets fans in attendance was all a blast. But then came the fateful inning from hell, and I watched another total failure by the bullpen.And don’t ask about how it was watching/listening to the understandable euphoria from the Mets fans.Like many others, I left with both a horrible taste in my mouth, and with a feeling of total resignation. But you know what? Despite the Nats not meeting the lofty expectations that they had going into the season, I have still had a great time watching them. Frustrating? Hell, yeah. Did I get angry with at times? Of course. (To tell you the truth, if you gave me an autographed Drew Storen jersey I would put in on a scarecrow in the cornfield in the back forty). But it’s a sports team. I watch them for entertainment. I feel sorry for folks that get so worked up with unending negativity over it.When they win I get a great high for a while, but when they lose I get over it by my next cup of coffee. Except for Game 5. Still working on getting that one out of my system.

  24. jd - Sep 9, 2015 at 9:57 AM


    Great perspective. Hats off to you. I do have to tell you that in the 45 years I have followed major league baseball I have never experienced a steady series of games (I can think of 5 – 8 right at the top of my head) my team has given away, games which should have been in our back pockets, it’s mind boggling.

    Even with all of the injuries and misfortunes we should have controlled this weak division going away. This is what makes this so tough to swallow.

    As far as Drew Storen, I have always been a fan, from day 1 but I think that for everyone’s mental well being it’s best if he tries to restart his career someplace far away from all the open war wounds. It just isn’t gonna get better for him in DC. Funny enough I think we all thought he was on his way to a complete recovery when Rizzo pulled the Paplebon move. Not criticizing the move just observing that it did to Storen what we all feared it would.

    • micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      Nats handled the Pap trade wrong, but, if Drew was worth a darn he proves he is good. He has no mental toughness period and he has received more mulligans than any other player I know of in recent memry in MLB.

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      I saw signs of Drew cracking before the Papelbon trade. If I saw it, then Rizzo certainly saw it.

  25. micksback1 - Sep 9, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    So what is the future

    is Gioltto ready, maybe not in 2016? is Stras ever going to be a top flight starter who stays healthy both physically and mentally, how many ore games does Gio have left in him, will the team burn out Joe Ross, will Max be good again and handled correctly?

    Could Nats become both the Mets of 2012 or the Braves of 2015 over night.
    Nobody saw the braves imploding, less than a year ago all the experts said the Braves had rebuilt.

    I think Rizzo got to big for his britches and too arrogant and now it is going to cost this franchise big time.

    If I was GM I would seriously consider resigning JZim, I would let Fister go along with Desi, i would show Drew the door TODAY, I would show the door to Treinana nd Jansen as well. I hwoud hope Stammen could come back and barrett we will not know about until 2017 so that means we would have to go via free agents for 2 BP guys. I keep Rivero and Thornton.

    Also, Clip got justice last night.

  26. b12071 - Sep 9, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    Sometime in the aftermath of the 2012 playoff debacle, I seem to remember Boswell writing a column the gist of which was – “this tough of a loss either breaks a team’s spirit, or makes them stronger and ready for getting better”.

    I think we have our answer.





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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