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Game 141: Nats at Marlins

Sep 12, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images

There’s no sugarcoating it: The Nationals are reeling right now, having lost four straight, all via runs scored late by the opposition, too all but officially eliminate themselves from postseason contention. And the challenge doesn’t get any easier tonight in Miami.

Jose Fernandez is on the mound for the Marlins, making his first start in more than a month due to a biceps strain, but attempting to improve to 16-0 all-time at Marlins Park, which would match the all-time record for any pitcher in his home ballpark to begin his career.

Tanner Roark, meanwhile, starts for the Nationals, having officially taken over Joe Ross’ spot in the rotation. The right-hander should be good to throw up to around 100 pitches tonight.

[UPDATE at 6:15 p.m.: Yunel Escobar has been scratched from the lineup with a stomach virus, causing a reshuffling of the Nats lineup.]

Enjoy the game and the conversation…

Where: Marlins Park, Miami
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 184/869
Weather: Indoors

3B Anthony Rendon
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
1B Tyler Moore
RHP Tanner Roark

MARLINS (60-81)
2B Dee Gordon
CF Christian Yelich
3B Martin Prado
1B Justin Bour
LF Derek Dietrich
C J.T. Realmuto
RF Ichiro Suzuki
SS Miguel Rojas
RHP Jose Fernandez

HP Larry Vanover (cc)
1B Brian Knight
2B Tom Woodring
3B Ron Kulpa

  1. Candide - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    1) Banged-up lineup;
    2) Roark making his first start since… when was it…?
    3) Two Opening-Day lineup players are missing (Span and Zimm);
    4) Fernandez has never lost at Marlins Park;
    5) Nats really have little to play for.

    Conclusion The reverse lock is IN, BABY!!!

    • philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      Roark had a much better season as a starter last year than Scherzer had this year.

      • npb99 - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:40 PM

        Painful but true. In fact he had a much better year. And cost much less.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:46 PM

        I don’t know about ‘much’ but if you go by WAR, Max Scherzer has accumulated 4.9 WAR this season and Tanner Roark generated 5.1 WAR season, so…yeah, a better season.

      • npb99 - Sep 12, 2015 at 7:43 PM

        Eugene, discount W-L if you like (where Tanner beats Max by several wins), but how can Max have a higher WAR if Tanner had a lower ERA (0.18 based on stats today)?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 10:50 PM

        Um, he doesn’t. Read my post again. Mr. Roark had a higher WAR in 2014 than Mr. Scherzer has in 2015. That’s why I concluded ‘a better season’ (but not by much).

    • Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:42 PM


  2. Doc - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Injuries and totally inconsistent relief pitching have taken a final toll for the Nats’ season.

    So in the 2009 Draft we could have had Trout instead of Storen? Nats’ scouts need to get at it!

    • natfan33 - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:46 PM

      But we draft pitchers

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:03 PM

        You can criticize a lot about the Nats’ (or any team’s) draft selections, but the way the draft rules were set up in 2009 meant that the Nats had to sign their add-on pick (which became Drew Storen) or they would lose that pick for good. And given that they knew they were going to have spend big on Stephen Strasburg, they had to select a player that would sign easily and at a reasonable price. Hind sight is a wonderful thing, but so is context.

      • Section 222 - Sep 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

        Not sure this is right Eugene. That’s certainly what they *wanted* to do, but they didn’t *have* to sign a guy who was drafted a lot higher than his talent warranted. There was no cap back then, though there were recommend slot amounts. And yes, they had to sign the pick, but Trout signed for a $1.25 million bonus. (Stras’s was $7.5 million, Storen’s was $1.6 million.) The Lerners’ certainly could have afforded that.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:13 PM

      Not to mention that about 20 other teams passed on Trout, including the team that signed him as their second pick.

      He wasn’t such a no-brainer pick.

      Woulda been sweet, though, wouldn’t it?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:29 PM


      • Section 222 - Sep 12, 2015 at 8:17 PM

        Oh, I definitely agree that it wasn’t obvious that Trout should be the pick. But it’s not true that the Nats had to draft someone like Drew because he was bound to sign. There was a lot of criticism of the pick at the time as too timid. Here are some of the other guys picked that year after Drew and before Trout — AJ Pollock (17), Shelby Miller (19), Randal Grichuk (24). Of course, Aaron Crow, Bobby Borchering and Chad James were too, so the Nats weren’t the only team who missed out.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 13, 2015 at 8:21 AM

        It is, as someone here once put it, Water Over The Damned.

  3. Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    The Nat’s chances for a playoff berth is toast, but dammit, I want to see some good baseball before its over. Long time until spring training.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:47 PM


    • Dave - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      +1. The most depressing thing to me this week is that there really hasn’t been much reason to watch the games. Not a single miserable result this week was a surprise after Monday.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:51 PM


  4. patrickthand - Sep 12, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    Ian Desmond is back to hopelessly flailing away at the plate. Only three more weeks of it, though. Why isn’t Trea Turner starting?

  5. natsjackinfl - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Groundhogs Day again.

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:14 PM


    • ArVAFan - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:28 PM

      Chelsea Janes actually saw a groundhog near Nats Park during the last homestand. Probably a bad omen.

  6. ArVAFan - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    I feel sorry for the Nats fans who took the destination trip this weekend. At least on the trip to Pittsburgh at the end of July, we had hope that the injured guys coming back would turn things around–and we got to see PNC Park at the Three Rivers instead of, well, whatever they call that thingumajiggy in center field. Yes, I know it’s the “home run feature,” but to me it looks like a Disney ride crossed with a Pachinko machine as interpreted by Dali on drugs.

    Yes, I wish they’d play some good baseball between now and the end of the season, but this week has not been promising.

    Maybe I’ll check the Arizona Fall League schedule. Last year, they broadcast a few of the games, so I watched a couple on my computer. The year before, I actually made it there (if anyone goes–remember, it gets really cold in the desert at night).

  7. ArVAFan - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    And for those of us who didn’t want to see Drew Storen again in a Nats uniform (at least this year): your wish is granted.

    Chelsea Janes:

    “Drew Storen slammed his locker shut after allowing the HR Wednesday. Broke his right thumb. Likely out for the season, Williams said.”

    “Williams said Storen reported yesterday, tried to throw, couldn’t. Told them what happened. He went back to DC today to see the doctor.”

    • npb99 - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:45 PM

      If that’s true, Drew is an idiot. Unfortunately for us, it will likely lower his already plummeting trade value.

      • philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:49 PM

        His trade value is zilch.

      • 3on2out - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:55 PM

        So much for the Stanford grad patina…he is a knucklehead in the Ryan Mattheus class

    • natsfan1a - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:52 PM


    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:55 PM

      I wondered if or when that would happen.

  8. philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    Drew Storen Breaks Thumb, Likely Out For Season
    By Charlie Wilmoth [September 12, 2015 at 4:43pm CDT]
    Nationals righty Drew Storen broke the thumb on his throwing hand on Wednesday and is likely out for the rest of the season, manager Matt Williams says, via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post Twitter links). The break occurred when Storen slammed a locker door after giving up a two-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes. According to Williams, Storen tried to throw yesterday, then informed the team of the injury and headed to Washington to see a doctor.

    Storen was terrific as the Nationals’ closer in the first half of the season and still has a respectable overall 3.44 ERA, 11.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. But he has struggled throughout the second half, during which he lost the closer role after the arrival of Jonathan Papelbon. Storen has a 5.82 second-half ERA that has roughly corresponded with (if not entirely caused, obviously) his team’s second-half tailspin. He has a solid 29 strikeouts and eight walks in 21 2/3 innings in that time frame, and without any meaningful loss of velocity, but he’s struggled in high-leverage situations.


    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 12, 2015 at 5:56 PM

      In a related note, the Nats’ admittedly slim playoff chances just increased from 0.24% to 0.57%.

      • scnatsfan - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:14 PM

        I thought they went up with the Storen injury

    • ccallahan15 - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:20 PM

      So Drew how did that pounding the locker thing work out for Ryan Mattheus? Basically he was never heard from again. Hope you you do get your magic slider back. But feels a little like we’ll probably see you in some broadcast booth next.

  9. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    [Tanner Roark] should be good to throw up to around 100 pitches tonight.”

    Perfect. If he gets through six with that, he can throw up in the seventh with the rest of us.

    • ehay2k - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:45 PM


  10. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:21 PM


    I have been a big fan of Storen since they drafted him. Baseball happens, stuff goes south, I get it. I’ve had bad stretches at work, too. I’ve gotten frustrated and angry with myself, too.

    But THIS?


  11. Sonny G 10 - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:23 PM

    I wonder if Storen breaking his thumb in that manner will cost him any of his salary.

  12. kirbs3256 - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    I just saw escabar is out now (about ten minutes ago it was updated). TT gets start at 2nd I assume (hope)??

  13. kirbs3256 - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    And what the hell. Why don’t these guys punch lockers with their non throwing hand?

  14. philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    Storen’s inability to control his emotions speaks volumes about his recent choking in pressure situations.

  15. kirbs3256 - Sep 12, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    Aww man. Heartbreak for UVA.

  16. natslive - Sep 12, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    So if Espinosas hand is hurt why not play a Turner instead?

  17. natsjackinfl - Sep 12, 2015 at 8:13 PM

    I’m at the game and I’m beginning to hate Bill Murray.

    Ground Hogs Day again.

  18. philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    Nobody is talking about it but there’s been a significant decline in both the offense and defense of Wilson Ramos this season.

    • natsjackinfl - Sep 12, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      Yet he ranks 2nd in all of baseball with his RBI total and his % on throwing out base runners is 2nd as well.

      Explain that, please?

      • philipd763 - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:11 PM

        How about last night, when he stupidly told Janssen to throw to third base on the bunt when there was no chance to get the runner? How about all the bad throws to the pitchers covering home plate after Ramos is fetching his passed balls. Or the several times he has dropped or failed to catch good throws from outfielders on plays at the plate. Or how about his sinking batting average, which is about 30 point under his lifetime average. Or how about all his strikeouts?

      • Dave - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:32 PM

        But philip763, don’t you understand that what natsjackinfl is citing are the NUMBERS, where people have counted the number of times that Ramos had done things well vs. other catchers? Those other catchers did all those things too, just more frequently than Ramos.

        I mean, baseball is all about stats, but if you don’t believe the actual stats there’s not any way to argue with you.

      • Tyson - Sep 12, 2015 at 10:22 PM

        Offense is a lot more than RBIS and defense more than runners caught. He has one of the lowest OPS of qualifies catchers, has played less games than most of them, has one the lowest individual OBP amd SLG and clearly sucks at sb locking balls and finishing assists. But yeah- the rest of his game is great.

  19. ehay2k - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Watching tonite’s game it really looks to me like the Nats have given up. There is just no energy in the team anymore. I held out remote hope the Nats could play solidly and pressure the Mets, but not anymore.

    The lovely marketing hashtag #Nat10nals now is an indicator of how many games out of first they will finish.

    • NatsLady - Sep 12, 2015 at 10:02 PM

      Werth and Rendon are about the only ones playing–probably the only ones healthy. Plus some of the rookie pitchers.

  20. natsjackinfl - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    OK. It is obvious this roster does not have any respect for Matt Williams.

    His inability to bring fun to a game that is played men that have enjoyed all their lives has become so obvious, even Mike Rizzo understands.

    • NatsLady - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:56 PM

      Desi’s body language on the bench: I WANNA GO HOME.

  21. Karl Kolchak - Sep 12, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    This team is playing like they want to send a big ol’ collective raspberry to both Williams and Rizzo.

    It’s gotten so bad that I am am off the Harper for MVP bandwagon. I just can’t get excited about the prospect of one player winning an individual award when the collective whole seems so determined to embarrass and disgrace themselves–and other than the final game of the Mets series, Harper has been just about as bad as the rest of the team this past week.

  22. raleighnat - Sep 12, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    It is actually getting comical. I’m starting to develop a sick, masochistic interest in how bad it can be. I strangely found myself disappointed that this loss didn’t involve a blown lead. This season is a lesson in hubris.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 13, 2015 at 1:37 AM

      Maybe I’ll get to resurrect one of my old slogans: “The Morbid Fascination Continues!”

  23. Joe Seamhead - Sep 13, 2015 at 7:01 AM


    • JayB - Sep 13, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      +1 Joe this is what I wanted to avoid by being proactive and making moves in July and August…If Rizzo had fired MW and made trades to address Pen with proven, and yes more costly trades rather than signing washed up 84 MPH guys and players cut by other teams this likely would still be a season we could at least watch……this is not better than no baseball at all right now

  24. Candide - Sep 13, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Remember “Natitude?”

    Good times, good times…

  25. rabbit433 - Sep 13, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    I really get the frustration with the Nats. But, I hate to say it, but just for the rest of the season watch some of the Mets games. They are a good club, great attitude, and fun to watch. The Nats aren’t going anywhere (hopefully we stay out of third place) so why not watch good baseball? Maybe at the last Philly game here this year – yes I’ll be there but was hoping for a meaningful game when the tickets were purchased – I may have a preview of some of next year starters. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

  26. Candide - Sep 13, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Argh – hit the report button by accident on Rabbit443’s comment. Please disregard!





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