Network News

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

Game 146 discussion thread: Nationals at Braves

The Nationals were at a pretty low point Monday night, having fallen to their sixth straight loss with no end in sight. Now, about 36 hours later, they're in a pretty good spot, relatively speaking. They've got a chance to do some spoiling and take a series -- on the road, no less -- against the wild card-leading Braves.

John Lannan was tough on the Braves the last time he faced them, and it was a similar situation -- midweek, daytime getaway game. He allowed two earned runs in six innings in a win during Wilson Ramos's first game as a National. Lannan raved about throwing to him, and he's back behind the plate today.

The Nationals will face rookie left-hander Mike Minor, which presents a challenge. The Nationals are 14-21 when facing a lefty starter this year, second worst in the National League, ahead of only the Diamondbacks.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 15, 2010; 12:05 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The start of Bryce Harper's career and his Arizona Fall League chances
Next: Sean Burnett, Drew Storen highlight another good day for the Nationals bullpen

Comments

Not entirely certain, but I think Ray just incorporated the word "mercurial" into a sentence. Outstanding!

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Both Pujols and Dunn came up to the majors in 2001 and both are 30. Dunn is no Pujols, and has 54 fewer HRs than Pujols in his career. Pujols will be able to get a much greater contract than Dunn will, probably over $20 million a year. (Pujol's contract expires after 2011, and will surely be signed beyond just two or three years.)

You don't hear anyone complaining about how Pujols is getting too old, while Nats' fans seem to have this "declining" worry about Dunn. Not sure why that is.

Teixeira is also 30, like Dunn and Pujols. He has hit 79 fewer HRs than Dunn. He's a much better fielder but he makes over $20 million a year and is signed through age 36. Why not a similar belief that Dunn can hold up through age 33 or 34?

Dunn is a poor team's Tex or Pujols, yet this poor team doesn't seem very interested.

Posted by: EdDC | September 15, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm assuming the complaints have died down about today's lineup?

What a crazy sport.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

It appears that, in a previous post, I compared Maxwell's baseball talents only slightly favorably to my wife's baseball talents.

All I can say is I was misquoted.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Matt Diaz, he of average speed, tags from second on a fly ball to center field.
No way he runs on most center fielders, but the Braves know that Nyjer does not have an arm.
That puts Diaz on 3rd with one out.
Nyjer's lack of an arm could easily lead to the Braves plating Diaz.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 15, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the old 1-6-4-3 double play. Nice work John boy.

Posted by: Sunderland | September 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, it gets worse. Compare Dunn to Ryan Howard, who is a touch older, I think. How the Lerners expect Dunn to take some very small proportion of the money that Howard -- a somewhat comparable player in age, size, defensive struggle, HR hitting ability, leftiness, etc. -- has gotten (the Phils had him under contract for 2011, but went ahead and extended him to 2017 essentially to the tune of at least $135 Million -- could be $148M) in order to stay on this last place club when others will come with big checkbooks, long term stability for the guy and more realistic winning opportunities, is beyond me. But what is even further beyond my meager abilities to comprehend, is why the Nats did not tarde the guy if they were not going to sign him. AND if they really are going to try to sign him, why did they not do so in March when he weas begging for a deal and they could have gotten a discount before he started playing a less than laughable 1B and went on to crush 35 HR's with a north of .900 OPS yet again. Fools.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I love everything that happened yesterday and today is shaping up great.
But that is the frustration. If the Nationals can do it today and yesterday, why can't they do it on a more regular basis?
Why can the Nats make it look so easy against a powerhouse like Atlanta, then get the crap beat out of them by inferior clubs like the Marlins, Mets and Cubs?

How does a guy like Justin Maxwell, who about 95% of the folks on this and other blogs have given up on, then he comes in a hits a clutch grand slam.

I just don't get it and can't put my fingers on it, does any of you bright minds have any ideas???

Posted by: Golfersal | September 15, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@Golfersal: "Baseball is a funny game." - J. Garagiola

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 15, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Dunn has 35 homers after last night. That's his seventh straight year. MASN put up a graphic of the all time leaders with consecutive 35+ homer years. The first three are A-rod, Sosa, and Palmeiro. I think we can discount them. Next three are Ruth, Kiner, and Foxx. Dunn is next. Not bad company.

Posted by: marathoner | September 15, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I never make any comments about a line-up like today's because something usually happens like JMax's slam. (But it IS a butt-ugly line-up!) Hopefully they can grab a win and skip town!

Posted by: 1of9000 | September 15, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Golfersal: Last place teams sometimes win ballgames. They all do.

dfh21: Yes, fools. It was reported that the Nats could have had Dunn for 4 years at the same average of $10 million, but signed him for two instead. So there's the two year contract Nats' fans prefer--built into what should have been the last contract.

I think the Nats wanted to trade Dunn at the trade deadline, but chickened out cuz they didn't want fan support to drop below their little profit-formula level. In the off-season, it will be better, cuz they can cover up the loss of Dunn with "new and improved" additions, and fit them all in within their cozy little budgets.

Thanks for the insight on Howard. Ryan Howard is just about exactly the same age as Dunn--within a few days. Dunn has hit exactly 100 more HR as Howard in their careers. But Howard is signed through age 37. His salaries go up to $25 million a year over three of the latter years, dropping to $23 million with a $10 million buyout in the last year. So Howard gets twice as much per year for twice as long as what it takes to sign Dunn, and still the Nats balk.

So, Dunn is no Pujols, Tex or Ryan Howard (although he comes pretty close to Howard). They are all 30. Nonetheless, for the contract he reportedly requests, he comes much more cheaply and for far fewer years. And Dunn is willing to be a Nat, believing the team will build around Zim, the kids and himself. Maybe that makes him a fool too?

Posted by: EdDC | September 15, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I think Riggleman is making the right decision to leave in Lannan. Number eight hitter with two outs, you should have enough confidence in Lannan to get him out.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Boy the Nats seem to want to just give his game back to the Bravos

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I guess I am wondering how Riggleman can look so clairvoyant with his seriously odd lineups. But whatever ...

Wondering if Lannan and JZimmnn would be enough to land Greinke. And if that would make sense for this team.

Posted by: periculum | September 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The O's are reeling in the Natinals just like how Homer reeled in General Sherman.

This time though, the O's won't catch and release the Natinals but instead will catch, gut, devour, and pass the Natinals in the standings.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 15, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer Morgan - He ain't no Del Unser

Posted by: Natstoyou | September 15, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

He's not even Al Unser.

(although he does have a few crash and burn moments)

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, which defensively challenged Nat will not make the play? Ian or Nyjer? Looks like that was Morgan's play all the way. I am sure glad that Rizzo sees the elite defensive ability of our CF, becasue it gets hidden from my untrained eye often.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 15, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer, go buy Sean Burnett a smoothie, right now!

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Nyjer's play, but if he couldn't find it he should have said something as it looked like Desmond had a bead on it.

Posted by: marathoner | September 15, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ah poopy that's so cute you use natinals over and over

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 15, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Did you catch that little tidbit from Ray Knight? Remember the game where J. Zimm didn't bunt with two strikes and grounded into a double play and many of us (including me) bashed Riggleman for it? Knight just said he spoke to Riggleman later and it turned out J. Zimm missed the sign and swung away. Knight said Riggleman chose not to make that public (of course, Knight just blew that).

We might want to keep that in mind when we criticize manager moves and game strategy.

And, BTW, what was the FoF doing swinging at the first pitch there after a walk?

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Really? Willie Harris to pinch hit instead of Dunn?

(I know this guarantees a homer but...)

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice win. Always good to play spoiler in a pennant race, if you're not going to be in it.

And, BTW, I know she catches a lot of grief (and sounds like Miss Sally from Romper Room) but that was a good post-game interview by Debbi Taylor with Maxwell.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 15, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

>@Golfersal: "Baseball is a funny game." - J. Garagiola

Posted by: gilbertbp

T. Lasorda: 'Everybody wins 50, everybody loses 50, it's what you do with the rest of them that counts.'

They don't do it all the time because a) their hitting isn't good enough b) their pitching isn't good enough c) their fielding isn't good enough and d) their manager isn't good enough.

Nats win 4-2. Nats magic number now 2018.

Posted by: Brue | September 15, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

>And, BTW, what was the FoF doing swinging at the first pitch there after a walk?

Posted by: baltova1

Manager's fault. They do it all the time too. It's called the take sign. Use it.

Posted by: Brue | September 15, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Golfersal. Wouldn't it be great if we could just win more of the games we should win (especially the Marlins)? With regard to Maxwell, don't discount the possibility that the Bravo's pitcher just happened to throw that pitch where Maxwell was swinging. Two negatives making a big plus. Even Jim French hit a home run for the old Senators once in a while. The Jim French reference goes with a tip of the hat to dargregmag.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 15, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

One more game, folks. The Nats win one more game, and they are guaranteed to not have a third consecutive 100-loss season. Yeehaaa.

Glass is half-full with me all the time, baybeee! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-only caught the last 2 innings...Hooray! So...how'd Lannan look?
After games like the last two, I feel prescient (as opposed to hopelessly deluded) when I predict the playoffs for the Nats next year, and I can forget about Dunn, payrolls, the Slows et al...at least fer a minute! Almost feel like posting my optimistic "the future is bright" piece. SO - Slows aside...I just really have faith in The Rizz. Forget about the past!(Then again, Faulkner said "the past is never dead...it isn't even the past..."..or something like that....)
But today...Dunn's still on the team, John got a win, it's sunny and beautiful - and we're 2 and 0! Now lets grab a couple in Philly, eh?
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Nats just need to take one of three at home next weekend to get a split of the season's series with the Braves.

So why can't they beat the Marlins?

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Jeeze, zendo, you were near-suicidal last night. You need to do something about them mood swings.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 15, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Was only the Braves second home series loss of the year. Not bad for a bunch of guys playing out the string.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 15, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-C'mon, gil! I've posted before about how my life is so wretchedly shallow that my happiness DEPENDS on our nine doing well! And not suicidal-more like homicidal, or rage-full!Is that a word ? (Mebbe it was contact earlier in the day with my 3rd ex-wife;my own personal third strike. Then again, there's always two more outs to go before the inning's over...). Plus the Gang last night was intent on enjoying a good game-none of the more "gimlet-eyed" members of the family were out and about, so SOMEONE hadda be a tad bitter!And though I'm in the "half-full" spirit-GREAT line, Brue!(2018)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | September 15, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Great - the only team we ever seem to help is the Philthies - certainly not ourselves.

Just kidding, I'll take wins however they come.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 15, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Atta boy, Johnny! Way to show all those naysayers. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Look at Lannan's record. 8-7 on a team with more losses than wins. 4.61 ERA. He was slow to get going, but he's got it goin' on now. Not bad. Who knows, maybe we will make the Phillies just a little nervous.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow Riggleman absolutely gushed ... almost fawned over J-Max in his post-game ... mancrush for sure!

Posted by: periculum | September 15, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

TMI Zendo. After Lannan's performance ... perhaps Lannan, Chico, and Mock for Grienke? Best possible way to improve the starting rotation overnight may be to trade for Grienke or Garza or both ... or trade for one and sign Cliff Lee.

Sorry, have to think about next year ... and the year after when Stras and others appear ... or perhaps don't?

Posted by: periculum | September 15, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked why they can't play like this more often. I'm no expert, but it seems like they lose their focus about as often as a group of hyperactive 2nd graders. Is it the job of the manager to keep the team focused, or is it the players' job? Granted this isn't a playoff caliber team, but they probably had the talent to win close to 80 games. They just went through stretches where the whole team (not just a couple of players) forgot how to hit. I've never followed a losing team this closely for this long (I was a Yankees fan when I lived in NY), so I may be off-base in my analysis, but can this team stay focused for the rest of the season?

Posted by: p-man | September 15, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Natinals will probably lose around 9-10 of their remaining games.

Talk about a terrible team that won't attract any free agents in the offseason. That's the Natinals for ya.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 15, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Poopy thinks the Oriles (see what I did there? Aren't I clever?) will win more games than the Nats this year.
How bout you back it up, kid? If they don't, you give up your right to post on this or any Nationals blog. And if they do, feel free to flame away.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | September 15, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but my religion strictly forbids me from making bets of any kind.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 15, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, I don't seem to recall the Orioles ever taking the field wearing uniforms that had "Oriles" on it.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

BEAT DAT ATLANTA AZZ!!! Yeah my co-workers are pretty much bummed out we were all sitting in the lunch room when JMAX went deep and i said "you can stick a fork in yall's chances today" as i walked out of the lunch room and then i poked my head back in the door and said "we will take care of Philly for you this weekend"(LMAO!!).

Posted by: dargregmag | September 15, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

LOL at the "we will take care of philly for you this weekend."

The Natinals haven't been able to take care of many teams since they moved to DC from Montreal and someone expects them to "take care of Philly" this weekend, and probably on the last week of the season as well.

Now that's a LMAO statement.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 15, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

No, just a big ZERO on their cap.

Posted by: Natstoyou | September 15, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

2 out of 3 in Atlanta? "C'est la vie," said the old folks. "Just goes to show you never can tell." Take care of the Phillies this weekend? To quote a wise man I had the pleasure of meeting in Mount Olive, NC "Might could. You don't know. Might could." It would be nice to organically water the tail-end of their season.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, dargregmag, are you passing on the Del Unser and Jim French references today? Now that's out of character.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 15, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for having our backs in Atlanta, dargramps, as always.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 15, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna no comment on the Jim French reference the southpaw swinging,candy arm catcher of the Senators used to keep my dad cussin like a sailor,but Del Unser was a very good CF'er and not a bad stick either,JMAX probably had Bobby Cox cussin up a storm after the slam and i don't blame him, but hey i'd rather we be lucky than good. GO Nats.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"think the Nats wanted to trade Dunn at the trade deadline, but chickened out cuz they didn't want fan support to drop below their little profit-formula level. In the off-season, it will be better, cuz they can cover up the loss of Dunn with "new and improved" additions, and fit them all in within their cozy little budgets."
EdDC

Dunn not getting traded was more likely because Rizzo could not get the player{s) in return that he wanted. How much the opposing general manager on the other end of the trade values Dunn has a lot to do with whether the deal is made. Apparently, the White Sox general manager did not think that Dunn's services were worth parting with their top second base prospect.

Using Howard's contract as a basis for measuring Dunn's value is rather silly. The rest of the league regarded Howard's terms as being way over priced.

I think that Rizzo's play all along was to trade Dunn in 2010 if he could get the prospects he wanted. Signing him to a long term deal earlier this year would have ended that possibility. I am quite sure the second plan would be to offer Dunn arbitration this winter. If Dunn accepts then he plays here for one more year. If not, then of course we get two additional high draft picks next year. Let's see how it plays out, don't hold your breath on him signing a long term deal here before winter.

Posted by: driley | September 15, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I concluded earlier this year that on the basis of your posts you were older than I am. Today it occurred to me that referring to Jim French and Del Unser is about the same as publicly admitting your age. Now you're saying your dad cussed Jim French. Mine did, too. I've been carded.

Posted by: fpcsteve | September 15, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

driley,

That makes sense--the same thing JimBo said about not trading Soriano. Of course, the negative pub from trading Dunn for a lesser player but who would still be useful (like Edwin Jackson) might have been enough to discourage a trade. As it turned out, Jackson is doing pretty well!

Posted by: EdDC | September 15, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

O's broadcast showed the free agent first basemen, and Gary Thorne declared that Dunn was at the top of their list. Now how messed up would that be? O's will probably give him anything he wants, except a guarantee that he'd be a 1B every day. They're playing some mighty good ball too. They'd be a true contender if they signed him, and everyone damn well knows it.

Posted by: Brue | September 15, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Competition is good for the Nats, Brue. Now. if only the Nats would compete.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone

(Joni Mitchell)

Posted by: EdDC | September 15, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company