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Nats 10, Reds 6

Here's the difference between the early-season (and heck, the mid-season) Nationals and the current version: The current team never lets problems grow into Problems. Friday, it was that three-game losing streak. They stopped it cold with a 2-0 win. Saturday, it was that mini hitting slump. Washington had scored five total runs in the first four games of this road trip. That is, until the lineup bashed Johnny Cueto for seven runs (including six in the third) and soon after took a 10-1 lead by the fourth. Yup, the credits were rolling with two hours left in the show.

(Fittingly, Kip Wells was pitching at that point for the Reds. Sound familiar?)

Anyway, Washington's 10-6 win (the team's second in a row) at Great American Ball Park was particularly satisfying for Jim Riggleman. One win, after all, stops a losing streak. Two wins, and the momentum is thrown back in the opposite direction.

"Yeah, you have to do that," Riggleman said, "and the way you generally do it is a so-called stopper goes out there for you in the rotation and stops the losing streak. We've done it offensively."

Among the highlights from this one...

* Adam Dunn started the second inning with some impressive opposite field hitting, waving at an outside pitch and knocked it about two feet beyond the left field wall.

* The Nats started the third inning with four consecutive hits, including one from J.D. Martin.

* Alberto Gonzalez ripped a bases-loaded, two-out double down the third base line in third, finishing Cueto (2-2/3 IP, 8 H, 7 R) for the night and turning a 4-0 game into a 7-0 laugher.

* Elijah Dukes had a similar bases-clearing extra base hit in the fourth -- again, with two outs. Facing Kip Wells, Dukes zinged a triple down the first base line, collecting three RBI. He now has 13 in his last eight games.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 15, 2009; 11:26 PM ET
 
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Next: Strasburg, From Several Perspectives

Comments

And with the Royals loss to Detroit today, the Nationals are 0GB for dead last, although they have a worse percentage. 42-75 (Nats) vs 42-71 (Royals)

Posted by: swang30 | August 15, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait, nevermind, they have 45 wins. I don't know what I was looking at.

Posted by: swang30 | August 15, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

swang30, give them time, they will get there ... looks like they may even get by Cincinnati and some others ...

My take on "the difference" between the beginning of the year, mid-year and now? The tone: they are hungrier for wins starting from the GM, manager on down. A lot hungrier. Does Morgan, Zimmerman, Dunn, Willingham, Riggleman, or McCatty set the "tone"? Or all of the above? Even Dukes!

They don't have a guy playing centerfield because of his "projected upside". They have a hard-as-nails hockey player there. Their bullpen isn't made up of guys who are there because they can throw 100 miles per hour. Now they are there because they don't walk hitters, try to make every pitch count, keep the pitch count down, and let batters hit into outs instead of constantly trying for the strike outs.

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

What exactly does Logan Kensing bring to the team? Is it purely mop up duty? You certainly can't trust him in a meaningful situation. His 2.35 ERA in July was a fluke. His 10+ ERA in August is on par with his season average. Time to say good-bye to the Logan Kensing experiment.

Posted by: g3jr | August 15, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Guess Mock and Martin aren't all that bad ... like the rest of the staff (Lannan included) they are still maturing, still learning the ropes, but getting better with each outing. That is different from earlier in the season I think?

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

You hit the nail on the head, periculum. The changes on this team since Sheriff Riggleman rode into town are multifold. I think he's earned a three-year deal, but I guess that depends on Rizzo being named GM, which depends on Strasburg, which depends on Boras, which depends on Uncle Teddy and Markie Mark not wishing to break the piggybank.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 15, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Big question is are we looking at 100 loses (I don't think so) and will we get the #1 pick (not sure). At this rate I don't see either happening.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | August 15, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Put a deal on the table, and let the fans know what it is. We all know it's going to be astronomical. If Boras/Strasburg turned it down, no one will blame the Nats. Let the guy sit for a year. Next year we can get two 1st rounders, who could still be two of the top 5 to 10 amateurs in the country, and it won't cost us an arm & a leg.

Posted by: scmonty1 | August 16, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

There are only 25 games to 100 losses. They still haven't expanded the rosters to look at the rest of the prospect pitching ... I suppose it could still happen?

Posted by: periculum | August 16, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

shiba-fussa, they have ~~45 games left (do they have any rainouts hanging out there that might not get played? I forget.), and they need to win 21 more games to stay in double-digits in the Ls.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 16, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"Next year we can get two 1st rounders, who could still be two of the top 5 to 10 amateurs in the country, and it won't cost us an arm & a leg.

Posted by: scmonty1 | August 16, 2009"


The second pick plus where every they end up. Perhaps 3-5? Given this year's set up you have to assume that next year those prospects, especially #2, will have Scott Boras as their agent.

Posted by: periculum | August 16, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

but yes, they could well lose 25 of 45.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 16, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

another side point is, regardless of how well they do here on out, they will still be in the top fifteen picks, so if they happen to sign a Type A free agent, they don't lose their first pick. Worth remembering.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 16, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

If Boras' clients/kids don't get signed again this year...next year's draft-parents will think twice about hiring him. People will begin to realize the guy is really looking out for himself more than the kids, only interested in his agent's cut.

Posted by: scmonty1 | August 16, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"another side point is, regardless of how well they do here on out, they will still be in the top fifteen picks, so if they happen to sign a Type A free agent, they don't lose their first pick. Worth remembering.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 16, 2009"

If they don't sign Strasburg I believe they will sign a type A free agent and that will be a top starting pitcher. Hopefully a lefty.

Posted by: periculum | August 16, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Syracuse won again. Dave Williams looked like Kensing ... again. Clint Everts looked good, again. This could be 2 parts of next year's bullpen: Storen and Everts (51 ip, 6-1 record, 60 strike outs and 18 walks, 1.23 ERA).

Posted by: periculum | August 16, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

$19.5 million, anyone? Plus a lot of incentives....? Going once.....

Posted by: fischy | August 16, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm with periculum.

This team has turned the corner and it shows. Rizzo, Riggleman and McCatty have instilled real confidence. Because the top is doing their job, the players are a lot comfortable doing theirs, and they are playing to win.

I like Zimmerman's sidelong message to SS: "OK guy, time to sign and man up in the bigs".

Let's hope SS signs. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when he's with mom and dad at home. They must play a huge role in his decision-making.

Wonder what Boras tells them. Boras has dozens of clients to bank on. They only have one son.

Posted by: nattydread1 | August 16, 2009 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey gang,
Been gone for a while and checking out the shutout against the Nats on Thursday night and the Nats return on Friday.

Sec3: I promised I would stop the madness of this remnant of "The Streak" after loss #2, but I couldn't help but yell from the Jersey Turnpike when I heard the 10-1 score (little did I know it would fall apart later) "JIMMY - It's ON!"

Stopped by Duffy's for a bourbon, beer and NO Maalox!

-------------

Have I mentioned lately, "Jimmy, it's on!"?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | August 16, 2009 4:12 AM | Report abuse

"... Time to say good-bye to the Logan Kensing experiment.

Posted by: g3jr
___________________

Exactly! Kensing is pathetic. Hasn't Rizzo seen enough? Heck, if it's a money issue, I'll pay for his bus ticket out of town myself!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 16, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Catching up with comments this morning. I agree with the person who is getting tired of the caveman commercial. In fact, I said as much to my husband when it came on last night. He said something to the effect that even when a commercial stands out due to your negative reaction to it, it's still doing it's job of keeping the product in mind. The stack o'bills with eyes is just creepy, IMO.

Nick, as somebody mentioned, there was a Post piece at one point about moving of the curly W. Don't recall whether it covered the mound W as well.

I missed J.D.'s first hit as I'd clicked away to "Walk the Line." Is there any truth to the rumor that he has made it known that he'd now prefer to be called "The Kid" (evidently "The Splendid Splinter" would also be acceptable).

In other news, was interested to hear the various MASN employees weigh in on Strasburg. hmmm...

Last, I won't make Tuesday's game but will be looking for the TP fan club in the centerfield seats. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 16, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Hold up there, NatsNut and Nats_Lady. I know. "it's" and "its" ;-)

---

it's still doing it's

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 16, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm definitely of the opinion that is Boras botches this deal for SS, and Crow is still out there, showing clearly that the Nats were right last year as well (Crow seems driven more by money than wanting to play and "earn" his money), Boras is likely the biggest loser. As a parent I'm not letting my kid near Boras until he's a top notch Free Agent with actual MLB experience :)

Nats should offer SS about 10-12M signing, 250k A-ball, 350k AA-ball, 500k AAA-ball, and 1M first year as Starter in MLB salaries. 2nd year starter bump to 1.5, 3rd to 2.5, 4th to 4, 5th to 6M. Give him lots of incentives, so if he comes in and tears it up and is the next super stud pitcher, he makes his 10-15M a year :)

Posted by: Rogueone | August 16, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 16, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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