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Game 114 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

Tonight, Scott Olsen will make his fifth career start against the Marlins, the team that drafted him and then traded him to the Nationals before the 2009 season. In his career against Florida, Olsen is 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA and a 7.90 OPS against.

This will be a financially meaningful start for Olsen the moment he throws the first pitch. Incentives in Olsen's contract dictate the he earns $250,000 for both his 11th and 12th this season, and then $100,000 for every start thereafter. Olsen has made 10 starts, meaning he cashes in tonight.

The Nationals will face Chris Volstad, who fired a complete-game shutout when he faced the Nationals in Florida right after the all-star break. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 11, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Second thoughts about Ian Desmond

Comments

Another 1st inning meltdown -- sooo discouraging. Our SP's look like they have no clue.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 11, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought Uggla got lucky but the rest...sheesh.

Dibble made a good point. It looked like Olsen was content to stick with fastballs and changeups which they were pounding, instead of throwing a few curves.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Not a good throw by Willie Harris in the first but the ensuing double made it moot.

Posted by: marathoner | August 11, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm imagining things....I see Olsen getting hit with pitches inside and over the plate...a few times it seems the catcher was calling for pitches OUTSIDE...but none ever came that way...

Now it's time for either the catcher or pitching coach to go to the mound and DEMAND LOWER pitches or get a NEW pitching coach who will....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 11, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Can't anyone throw a sinker or something that drops to make the hitters reach for the ball to take away some of their power??? Olsen seemed to think his power will suffice and shows no aggressiveness at all in attacking the plate or batter..Just my observations and of course I might be way off base...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 11, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding?? An 0-2 pitch right down the pipe? Olsen has nothing tonight.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 11, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-ya know, Natmeister...I don't think it's just the pitching staff. Heard the 1st inning on the radio so I can't comment on the play, but.....
Between Rizzos' machinations (I'm not opposed to 'em, per se)... Riggs switches, inconsistent lineups... Dunns' status...the musical chairs pitching staff...the injuries...the recurring mental/physical mistakes....no sense of any disciplined hitting philosophy...no sense of consequences for any of the above....
I think this ENTIRE TEAM is discombobulated
They just appear lost. Bewildered. Riggs challenged 'em to make it hard to break 'em up. They haven't responded real well-at least not as a team.But HEY-they're enjoying one an others company.
Don't mean to sound so....demoralized. But I really want this bunch to do well.
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

WTF -- Uggla K's?? His arms must finaly be tired.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 11, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Just a matter of time on Olsen...he refuses to try to hit the outside corner...inside is nice if you're dominating but the Marlins will adjust to it for sure...also....noticed Olsen's cap dripping sweat from the front....never seen that before no matter how hot it's been...

If I were pitching like he is guess I'd be sweating from many areas...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 11, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Well at least the feeding frenzy off Olsen is finished. Maybe the next chum spreader will do better. And by the way, what is with the home plate ump standing a foot off the plate? Guess he only works that side.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 11, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Much better...we held the Marlins to only three runs in the second inning.

Posted by: thepostischeap | August 11, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave sounding pretty depressed. Middle of the second and almost an hour into the game. Long night.

Posted by: marathoner | August 11, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman is looking more like Acta in demeanor...I mean, he doesn't have to react like Pinella or the White Sox coach but at some point you have to show disgust, approval or something to send a message to the team....

Right now I'm for a new coach next season...Riggleman is what he is and won't change demeanor even to spark the team...

If a team does not fear a manager's wrath during adverse times then the manager will not get the best out of his players who need to be motivated....Zimmerman's pride motivates him but others need a push....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 11, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Olsen's cap is dripping because he dips it in water between innings, to keep him cool.

I would suggest he start using holy water...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh well...Yankees-Rangers coming up soon on ESPN...should be more entertaining...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 11, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

BTW, from Kilgore's text on this post: "Incentives in Olsen's contract dictate the he earns $250,000 for both his 11th and 12th this season, and then $100,000 for every start thereafter. Olsen has made 10 starts, meaning he cashes in tonight."

Olsen got $250K for tonight's work. Do you think the Lerners will ask for a refund?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

This is disgusting. I turn on the tube and it's 7-1 going into the bottom of the FREAKIN' 2nd INNING!!!!!

Really piss poor baseball. If you can call it that.

What the heck is going to get some curly W's? Oh, yeah...good starting pitching, defense and hitting the little white round thing. Which the Nats seem to have lost since this past April.

Well, I'll be in section 117 this sunday eating a dog and sipping an expensive adult libation to see if Strass and this bunch of bums can win against the Diamondbacks.

Sigh.....

Posted by: M20832 | August 11, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll make u a prediction:

Olsen gets the DFA tomorrow

Posted by: swanni | August 11, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Olsen should be pretty embarassed going to the bank. He should invest conservatively, a couple more starts like this and he will have to get a real job. Somehow I doubt he has other skills that will allow him to earn a quarter of a million dollars to do something incredibly badly. Maybe the shoulder isn't right; if you were him would you see the trainer immediately before earning $500K for two nights work?

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

swanni, ordinarily I would say no way that happens, but...

$250,000 for his next start, and then $100,000 for every start thereafter?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Lets DFA Riggleman at the same time. This team will never win under Riggleman.

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Baltova1 - exactly. And w/ Wang getting $2M this year for doing nothing, the heat is on Rizzo to show some financial responsibility; this is a Lerner team after all.

Posted by: swanni | August 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Very frustrating game. Every team is going to have bad games but the Nats seem to have too many of them. Here we are into our sixth season in DC and the Nats are not even close to be a wildcard contender anytime in the next couple of years. The farm system is improved but I just dont see the players that will take the Nats to the next level. Next season Dunn and his bat are probably gone along with Livo despite his solid performance. We no doubt will pick up some retreads and it will be another season where 75 wins will seem like improvement.

Posted by: CountDemoney | August 11, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Yea, Baltova (Swanni, too)-and we all know how the Slows like throwing moola around, huh?
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, people, don't give up! Six more solo homers and we're all even!

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I just heard Carpenter say of Mike Stanton "this guy reminds me of Justin Maxwell"; I turned before he could end the thought but I can't imagine a finish to that sentence other than "because they play the outfield".

I predict one more Olsen start then back to the DL with some ill defined arm injury.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 11, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

How could the Nats possibly let Livo go given the performance of most of the other projected starters? Stras has been great but has had to be shut down once, Marquis, no more need be said, Zimm, here's hoping he's all the way back but he hasn't thrown a pitch at the ML level this year and I don't think has recorded 100 IP in one big league season ever, Maya, has yet to pitch an inning anywhere, Wang, still in extended spring training in August, Mock? Balester? Stammen? Detwiler? Really? I mean, really? They need Livo back at the back end of the rotation to eat some innings and at least one decent top 2 in the rotation pitcher to go with Stras - then you hope the rest can cobble together some decent starts. But you can't count on any 3 of them to be decent big league pitchers a total of 90+ times.

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

WooHoo - a one inning shutout? What's next, a 1-2-3 inning? Be still my beating heart!

Posted by: Natmeister | August 11, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now but everyone's favorite hitter off the bench is 4 for 30 playing everyday in August. Why is it all these guys that look so promising crash and burn when they actually get their chance?

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Left after the second inning. Obvious that the the whole team was mailing it in. Olsen will never make it and Riggs gave the impression that he doesn't care if we win or lose. It was an embarassment. Unfortunately, there will probably be many more to come. Break out the paper bags.

Five year and probably not six year season ticket holder.

Posted by: navboss | August 11, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

>Left after the second inning. Obvious that the the whole team was mailing it in. Olsen will never make it and Riggs gave the impression that he doesn't care if we win or lose. It was an embarassment. Unfortunately, there will probably be many more to come. Break out the paper bags.

Five year and probably not six year season ticket holder.

Posted by: navboss

This is the ultimate embarrassment personified.

Treble comes on at 1:12. Maybe this will make up for it.

Not
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXIsF0hfoNc

Posted by: Brue | August 11, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Really bad bad bad baseball. I watched through the 4th and can't stand no mo!

Have tix tomorrow. Maybe this crap will end then. Help, Livo!

Posted by: NatsFly | August 11, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now but Batista is actually doing a pretty good job sucking up innings after it doesn't matter any more. There will be a job for him somewhere again next year. There's always a place for a guy that just pitches instead of all the promising guys that never seem to be healthy enough to stand on the mound. It must be hard to be standing out there with a team that is already mentally in the bar and a manager that is dusting off his standard post-game excuses while watching Seinfeld reruns.

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, people, don't give up! FIVE more solo homers and we're all even!

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Cappy posted earlier on the impact of a guy like FRobbie on a team...and you all know how I've been going on (and on) regarding our lack of "spark"...or SOME thing. The new book on Henry Aaron that I've plugged actually talks about that, too in Henrys' early years with the Braves. How the other contending teams they faced felt they were...soft is too harsh, but the other contenders counted on 'em to come up small when they needed to come up big. Cost their manager his job, because everyone knew they had talent. And even when we started well, I commented on the perpetual "wait til next game" attitude. Now? Hey-it's a grind, we get it. We DON"T have as much talent (as those Braves fer sure), we get that, too but......
PLEASE Gang-one of you tell me why I should be patient...remind me of the improvements we HAVE made.
ONE thing I'm pretty certain of-Rizzo is NOT happy with what he's seeing.No baseball man COULD be; he's gotta be as frustrated as we are...I also get the sense that he's gonna be more "in control" of the team-at the managers expense-than a lot of GM's. No Buck Showalter types for him-at least not yet. So....where does that leave us? I have NO idea. I just know that we appear to be in a late season funk-and I hope it doesn't turn into a total collapse, which anyone who's watched the O's the last decade is well acquainted with.This appears to be a team that feels that no matter what, somehow the deck is stacked against them. Nobly fighting the good fight, only to come up short again. A self fulfilling-and perpetuating-prophesy?
And pentagon-Twins/Chisox, Jays/Red Sox are on, too! Heck-Brewers/D-Backs, for that matter. But..like me...like ALL of us Gangsters-we'll stay and root root root for the home team.....ARGHHH...but hey, Adam just hit a long HR. Gotta take our pleasures wherever we can, I guess.
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The basic problem is the Nats have too few real MLB players. Look at the bottom four in the order tonight. This is a team that has Zimmerman, Dunn and not a hell of a lot else. Some nights some other guys chip in, but when you start to compare it to how deep some teams' lineups are, its no wonder the Nats aren't winning with any regularity.

How does anybody expect to compete with an outfield made up of a raw rookie, an incredibly streaky LF, a CF that is sometimes on the field with the team and sometimes in Never-never-land, another outfeilder that has less than 200 career ML ABs and one that's batting under .180 and still gets to start regularly. Of course I've left out Maxwell,who would be overjoyed to be hitting .180 and Mench who has been where for the last few years?

Let's be honest, it's a beer league softball team!

Posted by: lesatcsc | August 11, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

In the past few games, Morse has showed us he is a good utility player but not a long term solution as our regular RF.

Posted by: dkwwong | August 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

That ball was crushed. I bet it has a dent in it...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I meant to raise this question earlier but I forgot.

Didn't the Lerners say, upon taking control of the team, that they wouldn't take any money out of this franchise, that any profits would be plowed back into the team?

Any way we could confirm that they're doing that (Boz, Sheinin, Kilgore)?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, people, don't give up! FOUR more solo homers and we're all even!

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

well, baltova1, as I type, we're back to needing 4 solo HRs. Love the way we "manufacture" runs. Liked the Olsen/holy water comment.
But talk about low expectations--Rob says our offense is having a "fantastic" game.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 11, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Who is the home plate umpire? I've never seen an ump set up so far off the plate to call balls and strikes. No wonder he's calling so many strikes low and away.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Baltova, I recall seeing a piece that "confirms' that-except that the profits were NOT being put into the on-field product. Being used, instead, to pay down the debt on the loan the Slows used to acquire the team. So Technically, the money is being "plowed back into the team". In reality, it's increasing the Slows wealth, as they own more and more of the team outright. If true...it's not exactly what we had in mind, methinks. Also-when the issue of payrolls and luxury tax recipients came up, although they weren't publicly called out-several antional b.ball writers like Olney, Kurkjian, Bob Klapisch, Heyman...all spoke of grumblings from the "haves" that the Nats were DEFINITELY a team that was getting a gimlet eye. As a team that in NO WAY should be operating like a small market/low revenue club....on the receiving end of those revenues. 'Course, it's all conjecture (not about the loan, though) but you may recall that even Bud Selig had to voice mild dissapointment earlier this year with the way things were being handled here in the District. While, of course, reaffirming the Slows as being the right pick to own the franchise and to demonstrate that....one day.
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"Getting a gimlet eye." Haven't heard that one before, zendo. Good info, Zendo. This topic might be worthy of a Boswell column. I assume he's doing a chat soon; I'll try to drop him a line about it.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Thanks, Baltova!...and while you're at it, maybe you could get Boz' take on what Gary Carter had to say about this team.
On a side note, my younger brother's been in town for the last week or so. He' living in nowhere, Missouri but his son is in St Louis and he's a Cards fan (we both grew up rooting fer 'em as our NL team-Pops' team, even though HE'S from Massachusetts!) As a DC native, he still pays a bit of attention to the Nats, and he was mocking our attempts to become contenders. Found it ludicrous that an area THIS wealthy, etc. (been 5 years or so since his last visit) was unwilling or able to spend anything even close to MLB average on payroll. Especially with the St. Louis area being so clearly smaller and poorer. Granted, there's a great tradition the with the Cards, he acknowledged but....he was slightly contemptuous of the whole thing. (Typical of those rich types who live on the coasts, he intimated....of course, he also always loved yanking my chain.)

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Oops-hit the wrong dang button. And so it goes....who knows, mebbe a miracle in the 9th....fer GAWDS SAKE, huh?!
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Zendo,

You're convincing me to have a look at the Aaron book. Hard to believe, 50 years later, that a team that, among other things, featured three starters like Spahn Burdette, and Buhl could be considered "soft." Wonder how addition of all-star 2B Schoendienst changed them.

Nice summary of Lerners' financial situation. Have heard about other owners' grumblings, but anything more up to date on that? Agree with baltova1 that Boz or someone on the Post (maybe financial writer?) should investigate. What should be embarrassing to the Lerners is the gulf (growing?) between the Nats and the other four clubs in the NL East. We are almost as far in the standings from the 4th place club as that club is from the division leader.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 11, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Well i'm not gonna throw gasoline on an already raging inferno but trust me if i'm Riggleman i wouldn't be making any long term plans with this team Rizzo either but on the otherhand StanK is running things so they both might be safe, i'd like to have a couple of hours with the Lerners alone no StanK,Rizzo or anybody else and then tell them to FIRE STANK and Riggleman and bring back F.Robby to run baseball operations YES!! that's what i would do call me crazy but this team needs a dose of "old school reality" they have talent but this laid back approach ain't gonna get it and tonight's effort is indicative of the last forty games,starting pitching average at best not one of them should be retained for next year other than Livo and "The Kid" and by the way Steve McCatty needs to go, after last nigh't fiasco what was the approach tonight? see how hard and how far the Marlin's can hit it,Rizzo needs to be put on notice another offseason like this one and you can pack your bags pal, the Marquis and Wang signings hang like an albatross around his neck.I've said this lately they don't look any better then they did under Acta and speaking of Manny being Manny his Indians were beaten again tonight by those red hot O's.Vegas baby you reading this Phil Wood?

Posted by: dargregmag | August 11, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

FIRE STANK and Riggleman and bring back F.Robby to run baseball operations YES!! that's what i would do call me crazy...

Okay. You're crazy.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-it's a great read, Cappy...and yea, the "soft" thing surprised me, too...don't forget Eddie Matthews in his prime as well (and I believe fellow Gangster dargreg is reading it as well).And not to pile on...but Riggs just stated how "proud" he was of the effort...he'd go to "war' with 'em anytime. Too bad they don't seem to have his back.
OK...I'll catch you all tomorrow. Time to listen to the Kool-Aide ...good fer laughs, huh? Too bad I willingly drink it...even if I do gag on occasion.
Thanks, Gang...looking forward to hearing from you all in the a.m.
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 11, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the game and the scariest thing I saw tonight was when one of the doubles in the 2nd inning went over Zimmerman's head. He jumped for it, of course, but once he knew it was gone he just slumped - about the loudest body language for "this is futile, ridiculous and completely embarrassing" I've ever seen. The team kept plugging away (only four more solo HRs would have forced extra innings!), but he sure looked like someone on the verge of throwing in the towel. Something has got to change, and fast.

Posted by: zimbar | August 12, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

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