Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Braves 6, Nats 2

The Washington Nationals finished this two-game series in Atlanta with a sordid rendition of familiar baseball: Ahh yes, a little losing streak. We've seen these before. We also know what leads to them.

This felt a bit like April, only in August.

In the Nats' 6-2 loss to the Braves, Washington pitchers allowed four homers, including two to Adam LaRoche. Jorge Sosa yielded the go-ahead homer to LaRoche in the seventh, only minutes after the Nats had battled back to tie the game at 2 against an on-point Derek Lowe. From there, everything unraveled. Jim Riggleman was forced to use three pitchers in the eighth, as Atlanta scored its final three runs. Martin Prado homered against Sean Burnett, and later that inning, Burnett and Jason Bergmann both walked hitters with the bases loaded.

(Wait, don't they owe Kip Wells royalties for that?)

"I felt strong. No excuse," Burnett said. "That was embarrassing. I expect much better of myself, and I know the team does. That can't happen again."

A few other notes here...

* If nothing else, Washington could take at least one positive from this game. Rookie starter Craig Stammen, coming off a dreadful three-start tailspin (15.43 ERA), rebounded with a six-inning, two-run effort. Stammen briefly looked destined for another rough outing, giving up homers to Garret Anderson and LaRoche in the second. That damage, in a twisted way, actually helped him. "I stopped trying to baby it," he said, citing the homers as the turning point, "and I just said, you know what, I'm tired of this, so I just started going after them."

Stammen settled down, for sure. He retired the side in three of the next four innings. He kept the ball low. He worked quickly. He walked only one hitter, and by the end of the sixth inning, he had thrown just 79 pitches.

* Your hitting streak update: Cristian Guzman extended his to 17 games. Ryan Zimmerman extended his to 15.

* I have an early flight tomorrow morning to Cincinnati. I'll try to post in the a.m. on the Journal, but if things are silent, just assume I'm tied up in the Hartsfield crush. Feel free to fill my absence with animated discussion of Ronnie Belliard's Wednesday night RBI single.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 12, 2009; 10:51 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Negotiations, Suspensions, Operations
Next: Nyjer Morgan's Baserunning

Comments

Off-topic (and I know it will fly against what a lot of the locals believe), but if the WJFK gives TonyK a radio show, it will amount to good money after bad. He's either lost touch with, or never bothered with most mainstream sports (Pro baseball, hockey, soccer, most NCAA sports).
*******************************************

Korn-hole will be back on the radio, starting next month I beleive, but it will be on Snyder's group of stations (WTEM, et al), not the new WJFK. So, of course, it will be NFL - and Redskins - talk 99% of the time.

Speaking of radio, the Nats/Bonneville deal is over at the end of this season (which probably can't come soon enough!). The Wiz have already signed with JFK, abandoning WTEM. The Caps will remain on 1500, though I don't know why. Once WTOP went to FM, AM radio has become meaningless in this market. The only advantage with being on 1500 is the promotion given on WTOP. Otherwise, 1500 has a lousy signal at night in the western suburbs. I don't want to see the Nats go to WTEM, as they'll always be a distant second to the football team. WJFK might be a good fit though...

Posted by: BGinVA | August 12, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, a 2 game slide after an 8 game streak isn't the end of the world....yet. They need to turn this around at Great American Smallpark. Perhaps AD can get untracked with the longball at that major league softball park. Take 3 of 4 there, return to Natstown and hopefully a decently attended successful homestand will be the result. Pass the koolaid.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 12, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

All right, file this under sour grapes....

Larry VanOver, last night's third base umpire and tonight's second base umpire blew both calls on Nyjer Morgan's steals. When you consistently blow the same kind of call then it becomes a problem. Is he even in position to see the play?

Both of these calls were absolute killers for the Nat's feeble offense, costing them a run in each case.

It's not like the Nats need any help to lose.

Posted by: driley | August 12, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The umpiring was really bad in this series, particularly the guy who umped HP last night and 3B tonight.

Regarding Kornheiser, he does discuss football and basketball well, and not to excess, but his delight in not knowing anything else mystifies me. I will always appreciate his forbidding anyone from saying "How are you?" when they call in. That was genius.

Back to the Nats: I was really disgusted with Guzman's firat-pitch push-swinging (into a 5-4-3 DP) with Nyger on first tonight. Guz, pull the damn ball if you're going to swing with Nyger on! You've got an acre of room between 1st and 2nd. Or just let Nyger steal. Yeesh.

Posted by: paulkp | August 13, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, bad calls (and they were bad calls) notwithstanding, this is an excellent lesson in why stolen bases are over-rated. Morgan would have scored both times on subsequent base hits, and given that the four guys hitting after him are all near or over .300 IIRC, those were bad times to go, esp. last night at third. What he was thinking being halfway to (an occupied) second base, tonight, I have no idea, but it just reinforces the point. You can't score from the dugout, and bad calls are a part of the game, too.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Some things are just bad ideas approximately 100% of the time, and it doesn't matter if you're sorry afterwards. If you have a history, you don't get a benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Agree with the comments from the prior post, and from Sec3 above: although he has been a net positive, Morgan does still need some refinement. For one thing, he might wish to stop sliding all the way across and past the bag. Someday, these infielders will learn to keep the tag on him. And Sec3 is right about something else: if* you consistently steal bases in such a way as to get called out, it doesn't matter what the "right" call would have been. You're still out.

* Before you kvetch, please note the presence of this "if." It's an important word in the sentence.

On a happier note: "I just said, you know what, I'm tired of this, so I just started going after them." Attaboy, Craiggles.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

So what was with pulling Stammen after only 79 pitches????

Posted by: charley42 | August 13, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

The bad call on Niger at third Tues and the bad call again on second last night were made by the same guy. Umps rotate every game.

Posted by: HossyLady | August 13, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

BGin: The Nats would be a great fit on WJFK with the 'zards, so long as they keep Charlie & Dave. I'd love to have those two get on a station where people can actually hear them. Between the "Bang-Zoom" all summer, and "Dagger" signature calls from Buchantz through the winter, that would be good.

Posted by: BinM | August 13, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Looked like Tony Plush did his Nook Logan impression to end the game last night.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 13, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Second that, BinM. The present arrangement just doesn't get it done (or Dunn) for people in our neck of the woods.

---

I'd love to have those two get on a station where people can actually hear them.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

And, yes, that was a rough way to end it, twinbrook. I said as much to my tv set at the time (more or less paraphrasing here).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Whoever is broadcasting the Nats games next year, they better retain Charlie and Dave!!!!!

It should be pre-requisite of the deal. I would listen to the broadcast exclusively on XM if it wasn't for the fact that the trees in my neighborhood keep blocking the signal during my run. And of course I know not everybody has XM.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Stammen was pulled after 79 pitches because there were 2 on with 2 outs against Lowe in the top of the 7th, and Riggleman was trying to get a few more runs aboard to end Lowe's night. Willie Harris did coax a pinch-hit walk out of Lowe to load the bases, but Nyjer grounded out to Laroche to end the threat.

Riggleman would get criticized either way in that decision, but I think I would have done the same as he did. Stammen, while he has had good hits previously, looked absolutely hopeless against Lowe last night, striking out swinging (on 3 and then 4 pitches) twice.

Posted by: faNATic | August 13, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Stammen, while he has had good hits previously, looked absolutely hopeless against Lowe last night"

He was in good company.

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Well I tried, i had great fun at the "TED" last night and yes i stayed till the bitter end,i had seats behind home plate in the upper deck so the view was spectacular. We had plenty of oppurtunities against Lowe but he escaped thanks to some questionable calls and good pitching. Nyjer Morgan is as good as advertised man he can cover some ground in CF and on the basepath's he is a blur(what were the Pirate's thinking?).I obviously sat with many Braves fans who were impressed with Riggleman and the Nats new found dedication except for one knucklehead who kept asking me what DC on my cap stood for and then asked me if Marion Barry was still mayor, i had to shut him up by telling him Barry was comming here to replace Shirley Franklin that got me some laughs and crazy looks but all in all i had fun except for the outcome, i had one gentleman ask me why more blacks don't attend baseball games and i told him i think it's generational, my dad took me to see the Senators and i took my sons to Baltimore to see the O's and now they take my grandsons to see the Nats but like i said i had fun and now its on to the Natti!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 13, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Sec3, I admit this may be PlushCrush talking, but if Nyjer gets those calls (and he should have) in the past two nights, he'd be 22/27 on successful steals since becoming a Nat. That's 81%. Even the most stringent sabermetrician anti-steal constructionist will tell you that if you're sucessful more than 75-80% of the time, you're adding value, in terms of run expectancy.

These last two happen to be a combination of bad luck (the calls got blown) and bad timing (since he would have scored from where he was). Even with these two, he's 20/27 as a Nat - 74%. I think we may be watching a guy learn how and when to steal, too, and I agree that he's maybe got to learn how to slide feet first. But except for that, let my man Plush run! Run, Plush, run!

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 13, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I should add, the thing in the 9th was a mess - he's got to dial it back there. I think that was just him getting a little complacent because he knew he was the trail runner. Definitely sloppy.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 13, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Nyjer had an up and down night to say the least. He has been fun, but he is essentially a rookie level player right now and the jury is WAY out as to whether he has the goods to be an above average everday MLB player. He was not exactly rocketing thru the Bucs's system, why should we expect that he is without warts and scars all of a sudden now? I hope he turns out to be as good as he has been for us, but let's not all start thinking this is some combo of Vince Coleman and Devon White we have landed at this point.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for representing us last night, dargregmag, and for carrying on the baseball tradition through the generations.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

DFH - Interesting choices. Vince Coleman had a career OPS of .668 and a career OBP of .324, with a SB% of 80%. Devon had a career OPS of .739 and a career OBP of .319, with an SB% of 78%. Nyjer's current OBP as a Nat is .415 and his OPS is .867. Small sample size, you say. Ok - his career OBP is .364 and his OPS is .756. His career SB% is lower (68%) but rising, and as Sec3 says, SBs can be overrated. Add into that that according to the defensive metrics (and they get flaky when dealing with older players)Morgan's glove is _significantly_ better than Coleman's was and somewhat better than Devo's, and I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that if he can maintain his overall '09 production into his age 29-31 years, he may end up being perhaps better than either of them, although with a much, much shorter career.

Big IF of course - there's an equal chance that we're watching Plush's career peak as we speak.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 13, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

One of the first things I noticed when I went to a game in Atlanta a few weeks ago was how many African Americans go to Braves games.

I mean, compared to Twins games, that is. But Minnesota is kind of a cracker factory, so I guess I shouldn't be too shocked about that.

-----

i had one gentleman ask me why more blacks don't attend baseball games and i told him i think it's generational,

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 13, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

By no means is Nyjer a "rookie level player." That's a ridiculous statement. He's flawed, hitting over his head, and making some mistakes -- like many players out there. He'll never be a superstar, but, please, he's a pro.

Posted by: hooverama | August 13, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

One of the first things I noticed when I went to a game in Atlanta a few weeks ago was how many African Americans go to Braves games.

I mean, compared to Twins games, that is. But Minnesota is kind of a cracker factory, so I guess I shouldn't be too shocked about that.

---------

This, of course, is precisely why Clark Griffith moved the team from Washington to Minnesota.

From a 1978 Lions Club dinner (thanks, Wikipedia):

"I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don't go to ballgames, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here."

Bonus: I learned this one just now, on Billy Martin, who Griffith first gave a job:

"He'll either be the best manager in baseball - or the worst"

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Vince Coleman was an ... interesting choice.

You know, I've expressed my doubts on Morgan. Not enough major-league PAs to know for sure what he is, mistakes on the bases, and frankly, a few too many balls coming out of his glove (the run means nothin' if you don't catch it).

But after reading Boswell the other day, where he looked at Willingslam's minor-league numbers, I did the same for Morgan. What do you know? About the same as his career major-league numbers. Nice .360-370 OBP, slugging under .400 because there are only a few doubles and triples in there. I also decided to drop my bias against a player for not making the majors sooner -- thanks to Boswell's point on Willingslam.

So basically, I'm this close to believing that Nyjer Morgan is in fact what he looks like: a fantastic center fielder who can get on base better than average and really tick off the other team's pitchers. Great to have.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Scooter - I agree. My too-quick judgment when the deal went through was that he was an Endy-Nook-BrandonWatson clone, but really, at closer inspection, he's what people hoped Endy-Nook-Brandon would become - the 40 points of OBP really does make a difference.

And don't be too troubled by the dropped balls. Like Zim's throwing errors, they look terrible when they happen, but they distract from all the other, seemingly non-chalant GREAT plays that he's making. He is maybe hitting over his head or maybe, just maybe we're watching a player take a step up, like I hope we are with Willingham. Next year will tell whether Zimm, Willingham and Morgan are guys having career years, or whether they are taking a step up in production.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Been a while, and I love seeing the nats play competent baseball. However, I'm kinda hoping they stay in dead-last so they can get the #1 pick again. (So what if it's a Boras guy.) Then they can sign a top-shelf defensive SS and move Guzman to 2b. There's a lot of arms on the way, (and on the way back from rehab) and they may be credible on defense, good on offense, and so-so on the mound. I'd take that.

Posted by: Section406 | August 13, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

A defensive Steven Strasburg! Awesome idea, 406!

Oh yeah, those initials can mean other things too.

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Tony Plush is *never* chalant.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

295, you're right, of course. Just as with Zimmerman, I'd rather T Plush get to 12 balls and drop 3 than get to 4 and catch 'em all.

On Zimmerman, I thought I noticed a few weeks ago (after the break?) that he was no longer setting his feet -- even on the routine plays, he kept moving. I don't know if someone keeps fielding "splits" by month, but I don't recall any of those awful throws lately.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

295, no question he's a good basestealer, and should be going in the right circumstances, but just like "situational hitting," the payoffs for attempted steals vary, as I know you know. But it's a tough call sometimes. All the really great basestealers have more or less said you have to be tremendously arrogant to succeed at that level. And he seems to have a good understanding of breaking down a pitcher's mechanics on pickoffs, from what I can tell, and he seems like a smart kid, so I think he'll keep learning.

But honestly, that was just boneheaded, getting picked off first to end the game, with the middle of the order coming up, down by a bunch, and a guy on second in front of him. Even if he gets a great jump off first to score on a long single, he's not the tying run.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure I remember Riggleman talking about the coaches working with Zimm on his footwork, which was, in fact, the problem all along, and I think he knew it.
Gotta move your feet.
***********
On Zimmerman, I thought I noticed a few weeks ago (after the break?) that he was no longer setting his feet -- even on the routine plays, he kept moving. I don't know if someone keeps fielding "splits" by month, but I don't recall any of those awful throws lately.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 11:17 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This, of course, is precisely why Clark Griffith moved the team from Washington to Minnesota.

----

Of course, it was Calvin (not Clark) Griffith, who moved the Senators to Minnesota, and who used to say not-so-nice things about Washington.

Posted by: KenNat | August 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Anyone questioning Nyjer's upside or even his ability given what this team started the season with in CF is loopy i don't compare him to anybody just yet,he just got here and at least in my eyes he's been more than competent. Let's allow the rest of the season to play itself out and then we can come to our own conclusion.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sec3. Didn't recall them specifically talking about Zimmerman's footwork.

On Morgan getting picked off, he's clearly at fault, but you know who else? First-base coach. Both there, and when Willingham got picked off against ... uh, whoever ... on Sunday I think it was, that dude needs to see the 1B sneaking in and yell for the runner to get back.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

But grampsmag, if we always let things play out and wait for enough evidence, we never could have loved and then hated Bonifacio with such fervor. And what's fun about that?

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

(Not that I recall anyone actually hating Bonifacio, just deciding that he was a terrible baseball player. Reckon there's a difference.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, it was Calvin (not Clark) Griffith, who moved the Senators to Minnesota, and who used to say not-so-nice things about Washington."

Right you are! Though Clark also said many not-so-nice things, he was insanely loyal to Washington.

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Normally, I'd agree. The coach really only has two functions there: remind the runner how many outs there are, and yell "BACK!" when appropriate.
But Morgan was fully half-way to second base. The first baseman is ALWAYS going to be closer to the bag than he is, under those circumstances. There was just no reason to get that far off, and he knows it.
********
On Morgan getting picked off, he's clearly at fault, but you know who else? First-base coach. Both there, and when Willingham got picked off against ... uh, whoever ... on Sunday I think it was, that dude needs to see the 1B sneaking in and yell for the runner to get back.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 11:56 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

But...but...if he's never chalant, wouldn't that make him nonchalant? I'm sooo confused...

---

Tony Plush is *never* chalant.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 11:16 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

But it was funny, either way.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

that's right, 1a, TPlush is nonchalant, but very aggressively nonchalant.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah, got it. You'd best believe it, NatsTown.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Halfway? Then I'm with you, 3, and need to pay better attention.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

That last line being my attempt to approximate the Plush-man's on-field chatter when he was miked up.

Also, that was funny about the royalties, Chico.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

But enough sackcloth and ashes.

Bronson Arroyo says he doesn't know whether he's on the list or not, but if he isn't, he says, it's an oversight.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4368436

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Love Nyjer but the oversliding at second should be correctable. He looks like he's trying to steal short!

Posted by: gonats3 | August 13, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

How we'll know the Ghost of Jim Bowden still haunts Half St.: if they pick up this guy:
http://tinyurl.com/o38n3w

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm not sure I *would* change that.
As soon as you stop running, you decelerate, so the later you slide, the sooner you get there, but you have to slide at some point, so he's hitting it at the last possible instant--and sometimes an instant or two after. He just needs better brakes.
************
Love Nyjer but the oversliding at second should be correctable. He looks like he's trying to steal short!

Posted by: gonats3 | August 13, 2009 12:29 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer is an all-out, full hustle player--that's his style. We love that. Sometimes it'll backfire.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

but one last thing about last night: as ugly as the ninth inning wound up, I really enjoyed the Braves pitcher Mike Gonzales both getting out of the way of, and catching, that 120? mph liner back at his head. I thought he was going to have to go into the clubhouse to change.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, *I* had to go change after that play, and I was just watching it on TV.

Posted by: Section220 | August 13, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, *I* had to go change after that play, and I was just watching it on TV.

===================================

Yeah, and that catch only made the #3 Web Gem on ESPN. Go figure.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 13, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Sharon Pratt Kelly and the Bully Billionaire have nothing on Ronny "butt burglar chiks" Belliard.

Posted by: periculum | August 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Sec3 - agree totally on both points. You have to be aggressive, and you have to believe you can steal successfully on any pitch at any point in the game, and you have to have enough control to say "Well, even though I COULD steal right here, there's a chance the ump could blow the call, so I won't take that risk."

And yeah, totally totally boneheaded. But much like the drops on defense, a mental mistake here or there or a poor go/no-go decision is acceptable, considering the rest of the package.

Still, though, to get a useful leadoff guy and plus defensive CF for a couldbe-shouldbe-maybe tweener prospect like Thrilledge is a good get, which isn't at all what I thought then.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | August 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't watching the game last night, only listening, so I could not see with my own eyes how far off 1st base TonyP was, but maybe the coach could have muttered "keep cool, you are not the tying run..." when he first got there.

It was a real mental lapse, everyone has those.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 13, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Pardon the intrusion; I need to mend fences with one of my favorite Nats:

When Belli comes to the plate, I want to *shout; kick my heels up and shout*. He [almost] always *makes me high* and he never *promised you a rose garden*.

And then there's his fielding. *Nobody but me* could make a better throw, and what's up with his positioning? He looks like a *purple people eater to me* out there.

Okay, back to PlushTime!

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, it'd be nice if Morgan didn't have to sacrifice a tenth of a second. In the end, I don't care when Morgan starts sliding; he needs to stop before he's in left field. I leave it to him (I know, gracious of me) to decide how to go about that.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"And yeah, totally totally boneheaded. But much like the drops on defense, a mental mistake here or there or a poor go/no-go decision is acceptable, considering the rest of the package."

While I agree with you on this point generally, 295, I don't think I can extend it to last night's pick off. Morgan wasn't going to steal and Morgan reaching home on a single would still have led to a Nats deficit. He had no business being as far from the bag as he was, and the fact that he was is a serious lapse in baserunning judgment that must be addressed.

Of course, I might have read through comments too quickly and come up with an inaccurate understanding of your point. If so, sorry!

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I always laugh at how Morgan over-slides the bases. He's always left with his very tippy-toe touching. The division, if not the league, is going to learn that pretty quick and leave the tag on him.

I'll laugh the first time it happens, but I bet he's a learning guy and will take care of that.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

A comment on Griffith. I was watching a special on HBO on the Dodgers and their move to LA recently. They mentioned that during the '55 Series, LA officials were sitting in the stands with Griffith, I guess discussing a move to LA for Griffith. LA was playing him against O'Malley, but it was a surprise to me that Griffith had been looking to move that early in the 50's. (I am not a Griffith Stadium era fan, so my knowledge going back to the fifties is a little limited)

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The point, 506, is that Nyjer Morgan is the greatest ballplayer currently alive. Our assumptions that he could only steal second when he's on first, and that his run would only count as one on the scoreboard, say a lot more about our collective failure of the imagination than they do about the force of nature that is Tony Plush.

I hope that cleared up any confusion.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I need to make amends with Belliard too.

I've ALWAYS loved you Belly, even when you were kinda stinkin' there for awhile. You always look so chill and I love how you always look like it's all going to work out and it's all just a ballgame.

I was only talking trash about you to help the team. Forgive me. And may you always prove the trash talkers wrong. =)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 13, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

http://natstown.mlblogs.com/Nyjer%20Photo%203.jpg

Posted by: Section506 | August 13, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This is the best description of him I've ever read. It should be on his baseball card.

-----

I've ALWAYS loved you Belly, even when you were kinda stinkin' there for awhile. You always look so chill and I love how you always look like it's all going to work out and it's all just a ballgame.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 13, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I love that photo shoot and the cover to the recent homestead nats game book.

Posted by: Elbaryn | August 13, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll mend some fences as well. It was all in good fun, Belli, while the team was, er, streaking. You gave me one of my fave baseball memories with that walkoff dinger vs. the O's last year, and I'll always be grateful to you for that.

However, I may still *shout "Hey, it's Enrico Palazzo!"* when you come to the plate once in a while, just for old time's sake.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 13, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh.

Everyone's in the new post.

Okay.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 13, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company