Network News

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

Game 32 discussion thread: Nationals at Mets

Without any hyperbole, you could fairly say this is the most significant series the Nationals have entered since they hosted the San Diego Padres at RFK for a weekend three-gamer starting Aug. 5, 2005. The Nationals were 58-50 and in second place, 4.5 games out of first. The Padres swept them, winning the first two games by a run and shutting out the Nationals in the third game.

The Nationals that season would never again be less than five games out of first place, and they spent only four more days in second place before ultimately finishing in last. Since then, the Nationals really have not sniffed contention past the month of April. Until now. The Nationals are tied with the Mets for second place, two games behind the Phillies.

Early May is too early to call the Nationals contenders, but this is still more important baseball than anything the Nationals have played in four years. Talk about it all right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 10, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tyler Clippard, winning machine
Next: How Tyler Walker struck out Jose Reyes

Comments

Why has Dunn gotten so picky with men on base? I've noticed he has taken several called 3rd strikes on close pitches with men in scoring position. We're having trouble scoring runs and this approach really doesn't help.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

he's always been like that...it just looks worse because they're having problems scoring

Posted by: nami322 | May 10, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Natmeister:

Dunn hasn't really gotten picky; That's just the way he's always been. He'll look for a particular pitch in his zone, and if he doesn't get it, he'll either walk or strike out.

He has a very good eye for the strike zone, but has always been a 'mistake' hitter.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

And AK goes over the wall - 1-0, Nats.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

... and RZimm makes it back to back; 2-0 Nats.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

...and that makes two!!

Posted by: dryw1 | May 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The first thing I thought when I saw "AK" was not Adam Kennedy. I need to get out of the past!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | May 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Patty:

True - Just let it go. The new AK can actually play the game, not just break team-mates legs.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Continuing on the "picky" theme -- why do we have so many solo home runs? Some 3 run dingers would be nice for a change.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Natmeister: Well, there was not much Zim could do to get more runs out of his, but it would've been nice to have someone on ahead of AK....

Posted by: dryw1 | May 10, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a hard time convincing myself that Elijah Dukes would have made us a worse team this year.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Tired of the Nats organization scapegoating for their shortcomings. Justin Maxwell needs to shut his mouth. You have accomplished zilch in this league, why would he say it was a relief that Elijah Dukes was gone? Please. Fact is, Elijah Dukes has NEVER had a season as bad as the current platoon in RF is having. We had the answer to RF. We inexplicably released him.


Go Nats...

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I could understand letting Dukes go if they let one of the others stay out there and try to win the job, but they keep running out one .200 hitter after another, with nobody achieving anything. They've done lots of good things this year, but the right field situation is pretty bad.

Posted by: markfromark | May 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Great swing by Atilano! Unfortunately Pudge is really, really slow LOL. I was yelling to send him, too, but in retrospect that was a pretty terrible idea.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

People, Dukes is gone. Like Rizzo did, just let. it. go.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Zimm is sick

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | May 10, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Great play by Zim with the side arm throw. Slaten keeps Atilano in the donut shop!

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping,prayin that JMax wasn't running his mouth about jack, keep your mouth closed son don't let anyone on this blog find out that you were backstabbin Dukes and greased the skids for his release you of the close your eyes and swing club if i was you i'd be too busy working on my game to say anything about anybody anytime just shut the fu@k up!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Dukes was faster than Pudge; he would have been safe at home.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Just an unbelievable play by ZIMM Nice pitch Slaten!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

BinM - I will let it go when Rizzo does his job and replaces him in RF. Why should I let it go? Are you satisfied with RF? I'm not. It is the duty of a fan to hold the management accountable, otherwise we will be a middling franchise forever. Until we somehow ameliorate the piss poor RF situation, I won't let it go.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

People, Dukes is gone. Like Rizzo did, just let. it. go.
Posted by: BinM

Fully seconded. C'mon, we're winning, people!
And when we don't, we make 'em work for it. Maybe I'm wearing the Nats-tinted glasses, but better or (thankfully much less than last year) worse, I'm having a blast watching this team.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 10, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

People, Dukes is gone. Like Rizzo did, just let. it. go.

Posted by: BinM | May 10, 2010 9:06 PM

Yep - agreed. And I say this as someone who really liked Dukes' potential. Also, I tend to think of "clubhouse chemistry" as something overrated by writers and talking heads, but Rizzo and Riggleman knew the deal with Elijah and knew it was best to let him go. And right now we're three games over .500. Coincidence? Maybe. Would a difficult right fielder hitting .255 really make us better than 17-15, not by much.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 10, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

^ 17-14, sorry didn't mean to short change the Nats. Let's hold on and score a few more runs tonight. Give those Mutts fans a chance to keep booing.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 10, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame he ended up giving up a run, nice performance by Slaten. He left that ball up on the RBI single, but he made some nice pitches. He also needs to get over and cover first quicker. He could be a nice piece of this bullpen. Now on to Tyler Walker. Come on Tyler, prove me wrong!

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 10, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame he ended up giving up a run, nice performance by Slaten. He left that ball up on the RBI single, but he made some nice pitches. He also needs to get over and cover first quicker. He could be a nice piece of this bullpen. Now on to Tyler Walker. Come on Tyler, prove me wrong!

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 10, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Reyes gets himself tossed over that called strike!? And Manuel?! It was a STRIKE!

Booooooooo, Queens, boooooooooooo

Posted by: Kev29 | May 10, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Dukes sucked and would probably be on the DL in any case.

Posted by: RireGrist | May 10, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Dukes sucked and would probably be on the DL in any case.

Posted by: RireGrist | May 10, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Slaten's line score won't look that good but it was a nice performance. An infield single and a bloop hit set up the RBI. Nice compsure getting the runner at third on the comebacker.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Can't be worse than fanning on two bunts and then getting blown away on a heater... Dibble is right, we need to just cut our losses and put Willie Harris out there everyday.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 10, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Come on, got to get more out of this inning than one run...

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 10, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was an ugly at-bat for Bernadina. I was barely good enough to play high school ball, and I could diagnose about 5 things wrong with those bunt "attempts."

Go Nats!! Get another run here!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris is strong in the field and has had some great clutch hits. Why not see what he can do if he plays every day?

Posted by: dryw1 | May 10, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris is strong in the field and has had some great clutch hits. Why not see what he can do if he plays every day?

Posted by: dryw1 | May 10, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Watching Bruney pitch is like waiting for the results of a really important blood test.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | May 10, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Well we survived the Killer Bees in the 8th. Who pitches the 9th?? At least we have Superman in left. I agree with Dibble, it's time to give Willie the nod in right and give him the 400 ABs.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the decision in RF was a good one. These guys have hit the sweet spot with clubhouse chemistry, and I can only assume that Dukes didn't contribute to that. He had issues, and while he was turning things around, he still had issues. You have two or three young guys who are *almost* ready, and while the platoon is only batting .200, they are getting it done defensively.

Now, back to the relief pitcher heart attack...

3 more outs, just 3 more outs....

Posted by: CajunD | May 10, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Aack! Looks like the Killer Bee attack will continue in the 9th. Where's MacDougal when you need him? Get him up here.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The good news is the strike zone is huge tonight.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | May 10, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Well, not good enough news, apparently.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | May 10, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Game over. Do we never have an easy game?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 10, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow! That's one unlikely curly w in the record books!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

peteywheatstraw said it best, and it could apply to much of the bullpen.

Posted by: hungrypug | May 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the BBBees get the job done!! Guess we can survive without Clippard and Capps (barely).

Posted by: Natmeister | May 10, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'll take that win! Both teams with double digit hits and only a few runs scored (3 of them on solo HRs). A plethora of pathetic ABs and leaving men on base by both teams, starting right off the bat.

I have to add my vote in the ring for Willie Harris who has always shown the ability to get things done and plays a more-than-solid OF.

I'm getting tired of Dunn leaving the bat on his shoulder with men in scoring position, especially with 2 out. Big deal if you get a walk! That's not what you're here for and too much watching not enough swinging!

Bruney is barely a heart-attack, as a heart-attack comes when you're not sure what's going to happen. I just assume he's gonna blow it now.

If the ump calls another game like this one this week, we gotta swing the bats better!

Posted by: mo_dc | May 10, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Post of the Day?

(Or am I going soft?)

-----

Watching Bruney pitch is like waiting for the results of a really important blood test.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope all of us realize Mike Rizzo is basically telling Nat's fans to shut up i know what i'm doing with the RF situation and the collective Mendoza line offense that is currently playing on a daily basis. This braintrust will never admit that releasing Dukes was a mistake they just decided that he didn't fit and that they don't have to give an explanation to this fan base. There are some of you who are just giddy that we are 4 games over .500,look i couldn't be happier as a lifelong baseball fan and a diehard Nat's fan i'm estatic but the way this team handled the Duke's situation was downright wrong no explanation just shove it down your throat and you take it and don't say jack as an earlier poster alluded to, as fans it's our duty to hold Rizzo and the Nat's braintrust accountable and that's what we all need to do.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I still can't believe that people are pining for the good old days when Elijah Dukes was dragging this team down. Hell, he's a career .242 hitter fer chrissakes! And Dukes has been arrested at least three times for battery, and once for assault. When the Nats acquired him, they hired an ex-cop to follow him around and keep him out of trouble. This isn't somebody we ever needed in our locker room.

Posted by: pgcorky | May 10, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice win and another one we probably wouldn't have won last year.

I do believe in clubhouse chemistry and I'm glad Dukes is gone. They have a great mix of kids and vets and they're having fun playing baseball. It's why they're winning these 1-run games right now. They don't get down and they don't give up.

Who wears the Silver Elvis tonight?

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 10, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll second, JiM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 10, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I never understood the "hold them accountable" thing. WTF do they care what we post in here? How is that "holding them" to anything?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Mike Morse is the answer (temporarily) for right field. There is really nothing out there for us to get at this point. Don't waste money on a washed up RF.

Posted by: Tom8 | May 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Can't really handle the Killer B's nickname. That belongs to the Miami Dolphins NFL best defense. Nats haven't earned it yet, especially with how Bruney has been pitching. He lucked out tonight - no redemption yet.

Posted by: RJD1 | May 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I hear Jr. might be available.
(and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't fall asleep in the same clubhouse with Plush and Dunn. Not twice, anyhow.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 10, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: "trade a guy nobody wants for somebody else's starter"

from the Seattle Times
Larry Stone
Mariners need hitters, but teams reluctant to deal

Originally published May 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM

If Jack Zduriencik was burning up the phone lines last week in search of offensive help, one can only imagine the cellular conflagration that is taking place now.

The Mariners are in the midst of a staggering offensive malaise that is quickly derailing their season. They need help, and fast.

The reality, however, remains the same as it was last week, when Zduriencik noted that "no one is selling. Everyone wants to sit tight and see what their club looks like."

He wasn't the only GM to make that observation, either:

• Ken Williams of the White Sox in the Chicago Sun-Times: "There really isn't much substance to anything at this stage of the season. Another 30 games, and you'll start to see talk pick up."

• Theo Epstein of the Red Sox in the Boston Herald: "You can't make personnel changes this time of year that are anything more than symbolic. Maybe once in a decade you can find a trade that you can make this time of year, but they're really just symbolic."

• Frank Wren of the Braves in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It's unlikely any team would make a major move at this time with their roster."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 10, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

right. . .what a terrible call to release him since Dukes is lighting it up with . . .oh that's right he's not playing and that means he's not getting caught stealing almost every time, making terrible decisions on the base paths and playing horrible defense. Other then that he is a sure Hall of Famer.

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 10, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I do hold them accountable.....for our winning record.
_____________________________________
Dargregmag: "as fans it's our duty to hold Rizzo and the Nat's braintrust accountable and that's what we all need to do."

Posted by: EnricoPolatzo | May 10, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Great win!

The Bernadina "effort" on his bunt attempt sticks out to me as a real low-point in this game, though. That was pathetic. Tim Kurkjian (sp??) of ESPN wrote an article recently about how ballplayers today rely so much on their physical gifts that many of them don't know some of the basic fundamentals. I have no clue if that's true or not, but Bernadina's WEAK bunt attempts give evidence to his argument. Bunting isn't nearly as hard as Bernadina made it look. As important as bunting can be at times (like tonight), it's inexcusable that Bernadina doesn't know how to do it.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 10, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Taveras and Bernadina bring nothing to the plate, one of them has to be sent down! Bernadina can't even foul off a bunt attempt. They should bring up either Mench or Duncan who are both serviceable outfielder. I know neither are a long term solution but they would not be an automatic out in the line up. Morse is probably a better hitter I just don't think is is a right fielder and neither is Willingham.

Posted by: sdrappa | May 10, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

You can poke fun all you want but the bottom line is that Dukes was never given a fair shot in spring training he should at least been released based on his performance on the field, and jpt1000 i'll take Dukes .242 to what we;re seeing now, and btw nice win tonight, good to see Clip job and Madd Capps sit this one out.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 10, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

This was a pretty weird win -- but the proof is in the pudding. Riggs went against the book by letting Slaton face all the right-handers, then bringing in gas-can Bruney, then closing with Bautista. We all know what he wanted to do, obviously: to give Clip and Save a rest. That being the goal, there wouldn't have been any other clear way to go.

It would have been nice to let these bullpen guys straighten themselves out with the Nats way up or way down, rather than to scare the bejesus out of everyone here. But it got done! The Mets lost to the dregs of the Nats bullpen in a one -run game. Does it get any better than that???

Posted by: nats24 | May 10, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Dukes was a malcontent, and obviously hazardous to the the clubhouse chemistry.

How can people SERIOUSLY want Dukes in RF when the team is winning. You people are nuts.

There's a reason why NO OTHER TEAM would sign him. He's sitting out for the year. Poor work ethic, lousy teammate.

Posted by: CapitolWill | May 10, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen, in assessing the Nats' improvement this season, called it addition by subtraction: The team released Dukes.

Posted by: nats24 | May 10, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Dukes was so good, so talented, so in control of his emotions that the lineup of teams that were in a bidding war to sign him were .... (Sound of Crickets Chirping).

That's right. No one.

We are so much better, on and off the field, without him. I just got tired of his undisciplined approach and constantly swinging at sliders in the dirt.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | May 10, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

This is from Adam's twitter feed. Pretty funny.

Brian Bruney on the #Nats, who have won eight times by one run: “When we lace it up, we’re going to give you nine innings of hell.”

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 10, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I can empathize with people that want more production out of RF, and even those that think Rizzo should pull the trigger on a trade.

... but to knock the organization for dumping Dukes, which has done nothing push us up the standings?

Rizzo was proven right. He felt the team would be better without Dukes. Turns out he was right. Let it go.

Nobody is going to trade a RF until next month at the earliest. We just need to tough it out, then bundle one of the AAAA pitchers (Chico, Martin) for a rental.

Posted by: CapitolWill | May 11, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Re: Adam's lead-in to this game discussion, there just are no significant May series. I know: A May win counts just as much as one in Sept.

But please! I'm sure, as joyful as the words from the RFK PA guy about "Your First Place Washington Nationals'' sounded the night I saw them beat Pedro Martinez to go 51-32, I knew it was an illusion.

Let's hope this year is different.

Posted by: nats24 | May 11, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"This is from Adam's twitter feed. Pretty funny.

Brian Bruney on the #Nats, who have won eight times by one run: “When we lace it up, we’re going to give you nine innings of hell.”

Posted by: CAskinhead

...Awesome.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 11, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Besides there are plenty of prospects on the farm to fill in RF in a year or two. As for this year its up to Rizzo to not settle for an oft-injured .242 hitter who is a minus -3 tool player

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 11, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

If you want Rizzo to be accountable for his management of the roster, you'd have to say he's done a great job. To look at what he's accomplished and quibble over a single move is unfair. He's building a team, and he sure seems to have done it well.

No one else in MLB wanted Dukes 2+ years ago. The only offer he got to stay in professional baseball came from the Washington Nationals.
And now, again, no other MLB team wants him.
He can't recognize or deal with a breaking ball.
And the fact that Rizzo is NOT talking about Dukes in regards to chemistry or attitude is the way professionals do it. Whether or how much that factored into the decision to release him is not something Rizzo will talk about.
And releasing him early in spring training was actually doing Dukes a favor, giving him more of a chance to catch on elsewhere.

Almost everyone Nats fan I know rooted for Dukes. But it played out.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 11, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

I rooted for Dukes, and if the Nats were awful again this year, we might be complaining about his release.

As it is, though, the new Sporting News team rankings for this week has the Nats at #11. That is so much more fun than having them rest at #30 all year.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | May 11, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Kinda funny to read this thread after the fact. With the way he was going in the 1st, I wasn't optimistic about Atilano's chances, but he settled in. Didn't watch all of the postgame, but no Elvis wig sighting up to the point when I retired. I'd have given it to Pudge.

Was good to see some of the other 'pen members step up, and I'm glad that Slaten got into a game. And re. the Killer B's and the Dolphins, this is where back in the day I might have posted as Bagwell and Biggio, with a comment of "What are we, chopped liver?" :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 11, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

In the post-steroids era, teams win by pitching and catching the ball. It would be nice to get more hitting from the RF position, and to truly contend (win 90+ games) the Nats need to solve that. However, sticking Mike Morse or Kevin Mench out there would be a backwards step. The three-headed monster of Bernadina/Taveras/Harris plays great defense, and I'll take that over the opportunity to slightly improve the offense. My only quibble is keeping these guys in the 7 hole. I don't like seeing them hit with 2 outs and RISP when Desmond is sitting on deck.

As for Dukes... C'mon you got to be kidding me. He's the poster boy for the JimBo era.

#4

Posted by: db423 | May 11, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Natmeister on Dunn taking pitches. I am sure it's around the league that if Dunn is up with men in scoring position, just don't make a mistake. He won't swing so he'll either walk or strike out.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | May 11, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

As far as right field we'll have to see what happens when Morse returns from rehab. Perhaps a combination of Bernadina and Morse in right, Harris and Willingham in left, and Morgan and Taveras in center will do the trick.

It looks like they are done sending Guzman out there.

Posted by: periculum | May 11, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company