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35Knucklecurve
05-02-13, 09:34 AM
Since we have some people here who follow "the other Beltway team", I thought a thread for them would be okay. :D

Zimmermann was amazing last night. Atlanta was shut-down and shu-tout. He's been unhittable for weeks now. They need to get the offense going, however. They mentioned a pretty disturbing stat during the game. The team is hitting .219 without Harper's stats; .209 without Desmond and Harper.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_01_wasmlb_atlmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=was

"We needed that one bad, and [Zimmermann] pitched a blueprint game," said manager Davey Johnson. "[They have] some good fastball hitters, and he just came right at them. He could throw any of his pitches over about any time. That was one of my tougher hooks."

The win had a tense moment, however, as outfielder Bryce Harper left the game in the middle of the sixth inning, appearing to have injured himself during an at-bat in the top half of the frame. Harper winced after trying to check his swing on an 0-1 pitch before grounding out on a wicked smash to first baseman Freddie Freeman with the next pitch, and was replaced by Roger Bernadina in right field.

The swing aggravated the bruise Harper suffered during Tuesday's game; he is optimistic that he'll be able to play on Thursday.

"That check swing got me," said Harper. "That was the biggest thing -- having all my force going to the ball and then stop. It got me to the point where I couldn't breathe and I had to catch my breath. It didn't feel very good."
[snip]
The two runs were more than enough for Zimmermann (5-1), who shut out the Braves on two hits over eight innings, lowering his ERA to 1.64 and extending his shutout streak to 18 innings. He has allowed three hits in 17 innings over his last two starts and given up only eight runs all season in 44 innings.

Zimmermann retired the final 17 batters he faced on Wednesday, with the last hit -- a double by Maholm -- coming with one out in the third inning. A key was his relentless pounding of the strike zone, as he threw 72 of his 107 pitches for strikes.

"He's obviously got everything working right now," said catcher Kurt Suzuki. "He's pitching up in the zone, down in the zone, in and out, he's really mixing it up with his breaking balls, he's throwing breaking balls for strikes. He's got it working. Even during the game, he keeps it loose. He's really fun to work with."

Zimmermann and Suzuki were in sync the entire night.

I like this Suzuki kid. :D

35Knucklecurve
05-03-13, 08:41 AM
Daren picked up where Detweiler and Zimmermann left off, with the latest in the line of great starting pitching for DC.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_02_wasmlb_atlmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=was


"That was the problem. I was trying to be too much like them. I was overthrowing a little bit," said Haren (3-3), who threw a season-high eight innings in leading the Nationals to a 3-1 win over the Braves on Thursday night at Turner Field. "I had a little bit of velocity back with my fastball, but I'm not going to care about velocity any more. I'm sick of that. It just gives me problems. I'm just going to be myself out there. Whether it's 88 or 85 [mph], I know I can get people out."

On Thursday, Haren displayed the form the Nationals expected when they signed him as a free agent during the offseason while helping the club showed how deep its rotation is.

Denard Span supplied the offense, reaching base four times, going 3-for-4 with a walk. He scored the game's first run, in the first inning, then drove in the other two, slapping a two-run double the opposite way past Johnson in the second. The first-inning run ended a personal drought of 13 games in which the speedy center fielder had not scored a run.

"We scored early, and that was enough to get us a win," said Span. "Nine games in a row Atlanta had beaten us. Any time you lose to a team that many times, you might get a little frustrated. But we knew we had to come out and play our best ball and play mistake-free baseball. We knew if we did that, we could beat this team."

MoVaughnEatsAlot
05-03-13, 09:07 AM
Zimmermann is the most underrated pitcher in MLB imo (Detwiler is extremely underrated as well), and arguably just as good as Strasburg, he just doesn't have the flashy "stuff" and high K rate that Strasburg does. A lot of people don't realize he sits 92-94 and pumps it up above 95 pretty frequently. He's a strike throwing machine too.

Haren had his splitter going last night, it looked the best it had all season, maybe it will be the start of something for him. Once he and Gonzalez put it together consistently, that rotation will be what most expected it to be.

On a side note, I was surprised to see Harper in the game last night...

35Knucklecurve
05-03-13, 01:21 PM
Zimmermann is the most underrated pitcher in MLB imo (Detwiler is extremely underrated as well), and arguably just as good as Strasburg, he just doesn't have the flashy "stuff" and high K rate that Strasburg does. A lot of people don't realize he sits 92-94 and pumps it up above 95 pretty frequently. He's a strike throwing machine too.

Haren had his splitter going last night, it looked the best it had all season, maybe it will be the start of something for him. Once he and Gonzalez put it together consistently, that rotation will be what most expected it to be.

On a side note, I was surprised to see Harper in the game last night...
I was surprised he was out there too. He didn't appear to have any discomfort. I imagine he's like Jeter - have to literally drag him off the field kicking and screaming.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130502&content_id=46418306&notebook_id=46418338&vkey=notebook_was&c_id=was


He's back in full swing -- or at least he'd better be, according to Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

"It's check-swinging," said Johnson with a laugh when asked about concerns over Harper's swing. "He said he wanted to go, and I said, 'Don't check your swing.' He has no broken ribs or anything from the crash into the wall [on Tuesday]. We need him in the lineup."

Harper left Wednesday's game following his at-bat in the top of the sixth inning. He winced and reached for his side after a check swing on an 0-1 pitch in the dirt from Atlanta starter Paul Maholm. He then ripped a one-hop smash to first base on the next pitch for an out but would not take the field in the bottom of the inning.

X-rays taken on Thursday morning showed nothing broken, and he iced the area and underwent some ultrasound to get ready.

"The doctor said it was a very bad bruise and took the x-ray to be precautionary," said Johnson. "He's young, strong. He didn't want to come out [on Wednesday night] when I took him out. I had to fight him on that. So I wasn't going to have that same battle today when he said he was good to go.

"He might have taken it personally. So I said, 'I'll give you Monday off.'"

pleasepassthesoup
05-03-13, 03:26 PM
While they haven't lived up to expectations in the early goings, they're an incredibly enjoyable team to watch. So many fun, young players.

35Knucklecurve
05-06-13, 08:47 AM
While they haven't lived up to expectations in the early goings, they're an incredibly enjoyable team to watch. So many fun, young players.
They are indeed a fun team to watch. Even before they started to really roll last year, I just liked the personality of the whole bunch.

Harper got his first MLB ejection on Sunday, for reacting to a called 3rd strike on a checked swing. IMO, he did not swing. I knew he was gone after he threw his helmet down, but Hirschbeck walked toward him before that, as if he wanted to force a confrontation. Bottom line is I think Hirschbeck gave him enough of a warning before he gave him the hook.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130505&content_id=46738600&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

YankeePride1967
05-06-13, 08:54 AM
They are indeed a fun team to watch. Even before they started to really roll last year, I just liked the personality of the whole bunch.

Harper got his first MLB ejection on Sunday, for reacting to a called 3rd strike on a checked swing. IMO, he did not swing. I knew he was gone after he threw his helmet down, but Hirschbeck walked toward him before that, as if he wanted to force a confrontation. Bottom line is I think Hirschbeck gave him enough of a warning before he gave him the hook.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130505&content_id=46738600&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Actually his second. He was tossed last year for tossing his helmet.

And I agree, he gave him a warning after tossing the bat, when he flipped his helmet that it.

NYDCYankee
05-06-13, 11:50 PM
Zimmermann is the most underrated pitcher in MLB imo (Detwiler is extremely underrated as well), and arguably just as good as Strasburg, he just doesn't have the flashy "stuff" and high K rate that Strasburg does. A lot of people don't realize he sits 92-94 and pumps it up above 95 pretty frequently. He's a strike throwing machine too.

Haren had his splitter going last night, it looked the best it had all season, maybe it will be the start of something for him. Once he and Gonzalez put it together consistently, that rotation will be what most expected it to be.

On a side note, I was surprised to see Harper in the game last night...

I always consider Zimmerman and Strasburg to be like Cain and Lincecum (well the good Lincecum).

MoVaughnEatsAlot
05-10-13, 08:56 AM
Anyone notice that the whole team does the untuck thing whenever Soriano saves a game now?

35Knucklecurve
05-14-13, 09:25 AM
Anyone notice that the whole team does the untuck thing whenever Soriano saves a game now?
Yes and I think it's a riot. It just shows you the difference between the personalities of the Nats and the Yankees - it would never occur to anbody wearing the pinstripes to do that - even if it did, I seriously doubt they would do it. :lol:

Once again, Bryce Harper got up close and personal with the outfield wall last night. This time the result was a scary looking cut around his neck. When he turned over on his back, at first I thought the "line" around his neck was the necklace.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=27097807

Almost lost in this was Zimmermann's performance - another brilliant outing from Jordan. He has now won 7 starts, first pitcher to get to that mark. I don't want to jinx him, so I will not mention the award given to pitchers after the season. ;)

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_13_wasmlb_lanmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=was


LOS ANGELES -- Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann showed once again why he is the best pitcher on the Nationals. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and helped the Nationals defeat the Dodgers, 6-2, at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

Zimmermann (7-1) allowed two runs on nine hits and struck out five batters. He threw 101 pitches while becoming the Majors' first seven-game winner. It looked like he was going to complete his third game of the season. He had 83 pitches after seven innings, but grew tired by the eighth.

"He just kept attacking the zone," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He was getting himself in good counts and it's a good way to pitch, ahead in the count. He did a great job tonight of that."

Zimmermann didn't have a good breaking ball, so he stuck with his fastball throughout the game.

"I just wanted to put the ball in play and the defense played great all night," Zimmermann said. "I wasn't thinking [a complete game]. By the eighth inning, I got a little winded. I left the ball up a little bit and I wasn't able to finish the game."

nyyfan61
05-14-13, 11:56 PM
Woohoo, glad to see a Nats thread! 35Knucklecurve, you know I'm a fan too.

Glad to see Zimmermann having such a great year and getting recognized for it. I have to say, even as a Nats fan, I never thought of him as particularly exceptional...it took a while for me to realize it! I think it's because he isn't electric on the mound, like a Strasburg or a King Felix. When Strasburg is on, he's head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of pure electric ability (ditto Felix, Verlander, a few others). Zimmermann's stuff isn't eye-catching in the same way. But he's got a perfect demeanor on the mound. Strasburg has been having some serious mental meltdowns this year. Hopefully he can snap back into it. He's also been the victim of terrible luck/run support, though...1-5 despite an ERA barely over 3 and more than a strikeout per inning??

Speaking of meltdowns, what do you guys think about Drew Storen's struggles? I'm usually not superstitious about sports, but I have to wonder if his postseason meltdown last year is still haunting him.

And I gotta say, I really hate the untuck thing. If they want to do it in the clubhouse after the game, or even on the field while they're being interviewed etc, great. Doing it while the other team is still around just seems like they're giving the losers a full-body middle finger. I hated it when Soriano did it in NY, and I hate even more that it's spreading through the Nats.

35Knucklecurve
05-15-13, 08:58 AM
Woohoo, glad to see a Nats thread! 35Knucklecurve, you know I'm a fan too.

Glad to see Zimmermann having such a great year and getting recognized for it. I have to say, even as a Nats fan, I never thought of him as particularly exceptional...it took a while for me to realize it! I think it's because he isn't electric on the mound, like a Strasburg or a King Felix. When Strasburg is on, he's head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of pure electric ability (ditto Felix, Verlander, a few others). Zimmermann's stuff isn't eye-catching in the same way. But he's got a perfect demeanor on the mound. Strasburg has been having some serious mental meltdowns this year. Hopefully he can snap back into it. He's also been the victim of terrible luck/run support, though...1-5 despite an ERA barely over 3 and more than a strikeout per inning??

Speaking of meltdowns, what do you guys think about Drew Storen's struggles? I'm usually not superstitious about sports, but I have to wonder if his postseason meltdown last year is still haunting him.

And I gotta say, I really hate the untuck thing. If they want to do it in the clubhouse after the game, or even on the field while they're being interviewed etc, great. Doing it while the other team is still around just seems like they're giving the losers a full-body middle finger. I hated it when Soriano did it in NY, and I hate even more that it's spreading through the Nats.
I'm not sure what's causing Storen's struggles. I thought it might just be early season rust in April, but the postseason last year is something I hadn't really considered.

nyyfan61
05-18-13, 03:16 PM
Glad to see Gio and Strasburg keeping their cool on the mound the past two days. Earlier in the season, they would have slumped and cringed and pouted at the slightest sign of trouble, but they're battling now. But seriously, what is up with Ryan Zimmerman? For awhile I thought it was just injury and then rust, but now all these awful throws (often on not-especially-challenging plays) are conjuring up flashbacks to Chuck Knoblauch...

35Knucklecurve
05-20-13, 09:06 AM
Glad to see Gio and Strasburg keeping their cool on the mound the past two days. Earlier in the season, they would have slumped and cringed and pouted at the slightest sign of trouble, but they're battling now. But seriously, what is up with Ryan Zimmerman? For awhile I thought it was just injury and then rust, but now all these awful throws (often on not-especially-challenging plays) are conjuring up flashbacks to Chuck Knoblauch...
I got concerned about Zimmerman earlier this season when he made some bad throws on what you'd consider routine plays. Yesterday, he did have one of his patented barehanded scoop and sidearm to first plays that looked like vintage Ryan. Maybe it's when he doesn't have time to think about what he's doing that makes the difference. He's such a great all-around player - I really hope he can work through this. He's starting to heat up at the plate, however.

At least for now, Detwiler is not going to the DL - oblique strain will keep him from starting today. I hope it's only one game, but I've said before that oblique injuries make me nervous. The Nats are beginning to look like the Yankees with their own string of injuries

MoVaughnEatsAlot
05-22-13, 07:35 AM
Nats having a tough road series. Back at .500. At least Strasburg has looked good.

Bullpen has caused this team quite a headache this year, and the offense can be feast or famine.

35Knucklecurve
05-22-13, 10:24 AM
Harper was clearly thinking about his up close and personal encounter with the fence last night.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_21_wasmlb_sfnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=was


SAN FRANCISCO -- As bad as Yunesky Maya felt Tuesday night, he didn't seem to carry the same burden as Bryce Harper after the game.

It was Maya who gave up a walk-off, two-run homer to Pablo Sandoval in the 10th inning of the 4-2 Nationals loss. But it was Harper who couldn't track down a fly ball in the ninth inning, allowing a game-tying RBI triple to land close to the right-field wall.

"I put that whole loss on me," Harper said. "Really sucks."

With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth, Gregor Blanco skied one to right-center and Harper gave chase near the warning track, but couldn't come down with the catch. Pinch-runner Andres Torres came around to score and knot the game at 2, as Rafael Soriano blew his third save of the year and second in as many chances.

The high fly ball conjured up memories of the hard collision Harper suffered last week in Los Angeles, when he went running full-bore into the wall and injured his knee, abdomen, neck and shoulder. Asked if he had a flashback to that play as he tried to catch Blanco's blast, Harper said, "Absolutely. I don't want to hit the fricking wall, for one. Of course that crosses your mind after you jam into a wall and it doesn't really feel very good."

Still, Harper said he better learn how to overcome that mental block when chasing down fly balls near the wall. And fast.

"Or I'm going to be in Triple-A," Harper said. "That's how I feel."


He's had the two extremes (crashing into it and pulling up short), so he's just got to find the middleground, literally.

Strausburg and Cain both lived up to the expectation of a pitchers' duel in this one. The Nats really need to find some offense. Espinoza looks so lost right now. Maybe the way Johnson tweaked the line-up will be a start.

nyyfan61
05-22-13, 09:22 PM
Yeah, Harper seemed visibly spooked by the possibility of crashing into the wall. I'd rather that than see him keep going with reckless abandon, though. He's still injured a week after his last crash, the last thing he/the Nats need is another one!

Rafael Soriano was a complete jerk about that. Yeah, Harper misplayed it, but lost in that shuffle is that Harper was playing way in (probably on his coach's orders) and it would've been a really tough play even without his spook-jump. Besides, if you're the closer, maybe you should focus on the fact that you grooved a middle-of-the-plate pitch with two outs in the ninth, and not on lambasting your right fielder. That ball was hammered, whether Harper catches it or not. Take the responsibility yourself, Rafael. You got hit hard.

35Knucklecurve
05-30-13, 01:01 PM
Despite Ryan Zimmerman's 3HRS, the Nats coughed it up to the O's last night. Zim equally distributed his blasts with one each to CF, RF and LF. In the 3rd, he was joined by Bernadina, going back-to-back. Bernadina reached Eutaw street with his blast, so the next time you're at OPCY, look for his plaque on the pavement where his ball landed.

Harper was out of the line-up, still bothered by that knee. This was a tough loss to swallow.

MoVaughnEatsAlot
06-16-13, 10:06 AM
They are looking like a real .500 team this year. Just hovering around it. Their offense is bad. Seems to be coming around a little more lately though. They really need to rattle off a 7 or 8 game win streak to really get things moving.

JDPNYY
07-30-13, 06:13 AM
Anyone notice that after nearly 4 months, the young, exciting, awesome Nats are 2 games under .500, while the horrible, old, injury riddled Yankees are 5 games over .500?

NelsonMuntz
07-30-13, 11:02 AM
Anyone notice that after nearly 4 months, the young, exciting, awesome Nats are 2 games under .500, while the horrible, old, injury riddled Yankees are 5 games over .500?
Yeah, this Nats team hasn't been as "fun to watch" as many of us predicted. The Washington Post did a pretty good breakdown of their various struggles this season in an article that came out over the weekend: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/why-the-washington-nationals-2013-season-has-been-such-a-letdown/2013/07/27/d6bfcc40-f6ea-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html

JL25and3
07-30-13, 11:18 AM
Anyone notice that after nearly 4 months, the young, exciting, awesome Nats are 2 games under .500, while the horrible, old, injury riddled Yankees are 5 games over .500?
I would still trade the Yankee roster - even the uninjured roster - for the Nats without hesitation.

JDPNYY
07-30-13, 12:19 PM
I would still trade the Yankee roster - even the uninjured roster - for the Nats without hesitation.


There would be a lot of ticket holders for the last home game of the year who would be very disappointed.

Jax Teller
08-01-13, 09:01 PM
Adam Kilgore ‏<s>@</s>AdamKilgoreWP (https://twitter.com/AdamKilgoreWP) <small class="time"> 9m (https://twitter.com/AdamKilgoreWP/status/363099597704400896) </small> Nats announce Mike Rizzo has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and signed a "long-term" deal.

MoVaughnEatsAlot
09-18-13, 08:08 AM
So the Nats have been on about a month long tear (13-3 in Sep, 29-14 since beginning of August) and are now only 4 behind in the loss column to the Reds, with no other competition unlike the AL WC clusterf***. With the remaining schedule, you can say the Nats have it slightly easier, though before yesterday, I might argue the Reds had it easier. A big doubleheader sweep yesterday and a wacky walkoff against the Braves significantly helped their chances:

Reds:
1 more against HOU
3 against PIT
3 against NYM
3 against PIT

Nats:
1 more against ATL
4 against MIA
3 against STL
3 against ARI