Remember This Guy?

Victor Robles was Juan Soto before Juan Soto.

Potential outfield next year if Bryce doesn’t resign: Soto, Eaton, Robles.

Keep an eye on this guy, may get called up before the season ends.

Interesting Mike Rizzo stories in latest Wash Post article

Click here for article

Chelsea Janes has a piece released today regaling Rizzo and the recent bullpen disasters moves. For the record, Janes is a great follow on Twitter @chelsea_janes

Some of the most interesting quotes for those who don’t feel like reading the piece or have run out of free Washington Post article views:

In regards to the Kintzler move:

Soon, a different narrative emerged, one in which Kintzler’s willingness to speak his mind became an inspiration for the deal. A day earlier, a Yahoo Sports story emerged in which an anonymous source called the Nationals clubhouse “a mess.” Kintzler was not the source, he and the writer, Jeff Passan, insisted later.

But in the aftermath of that story, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation, Rizzo delivered a message to his clubhouse that warned against spreading misinformation.

Kintzler heard about that message, and went to Rizzo before he left Nationals Park, according to people familiar with their exchange. He promised him he wasn’t the source. He had already admitted to being one of the sources for a July 19 Washington Post story outlining relievers’ concerns about Manager Dave Martinez’s handling of the bullpen. He went to Rizzo, in person, to be forthright about that. So when he heard that Rizzo had told his teammates to pipe down, Kintzler worried a misconception had ended his Nationals tenure. He swore to Rizzo, on his children, he hadn’t been the source.

On Shawn Kelley:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further, but Rizzo’s frustration was not isolated.

Scherzer and Madson also faced up Kelley that night to express their disapproval of the outburst. Not long after, Rizzo told Kelley he would be designating him for assignment, then issued his “if you’re not in, you’re in the way” proclamation to reporters the next day. The Nationals traded Kelley to Oakland, where he has yet to allow a run in four appearances, and remains disappointed with the way his two-and-a-half year Nationals tenure ended.

“I hate to be seen as a guy that was showing up his manager or selfish because I’ve played 10 years and I’ve never been that guy. So I don’t think I’d start now,” Kelley said when reached by phone after the deal. “It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but it is what it is so I’ll move on and make the best of it.”

Pretty fascinating stuff.

By the way this is your Shawn Kelley update:

Was Davey Not Ready?

This was the series that was going to turn around the season.

It had been said before, multiple times. Perhaps back on July 9th, headed into a road stretch against Pittsburgh and the Mets, a great opportunity to gain some ground. Maybe even as recent as the end of July, playing Milwaukee and those bottom-feeding Marlins. It has been said multiple times this season: THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Game 1: Max Scherzer, loud grunts and all, gives another herculean effort on a muggy Friday night. He grinds through six innings, striking out seven Marlins and only surrendering five knocks. A few dingers from Wieters and Zimm, some aggressive baserunning from Harper and company, a win and the start of something…anything…

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track. 

Yet…they can’t. 

The blame can never fall fully onto the manager, he isn’t taking cuts at the dish or giving signs to the reliever, but there ARE things that one CAN blame the coach for. Overthinking in-game matchups, lineup decisions, substitutions, and above all else: getting your guys motivated.

One can see fully on display the difference between a Veteran managerial presence, despite the flaws that can bring too, and a young upstart, finally given the keys to the kingdom. Did Dusty get set in his ways? Sure. Did Dusty make mistakes? Of course. But Dusty had seen a lot, won a lot, and was never going to get flustered.

Game 2: An Adam Eaton homerun just climbs over the right field wall to give the Nats hope. We are STILL alive! The young Rodriguez gave the Nats a solid start. JT Riddle continues to dominate…WHO? And like that, in the top of the 10th the Nats “closer” Koda Glover gives up two and sends a confused crowd home. 

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Yet…they can’t

The camels, god please don’t bring up the camels. Any new manager is going to try to make an impact in camp. Davey opted for the silly route. It seemed forced.

Every decision, every pitching change, scrutinized to the 100th degree. That’s the job. Like it or not. Maddon is no longer there. Its a little different riding the camel instead of closely following behind.

Game 3: Simply put, disaster. Jose Urena pitches a gem. Marlins bats open up the floodgates. Gio continues to pitch terribly. How is this happening? WHO THE F*** IS JT RIDDLE? 

THIS was the series where the Nats got back on track. 

Yet…they didn’t.

 

Game 125-In case you missed it…Nats lose 12-1

Gio cruised through the 1st, capped off by a sick catch by every baseball movie’s villain Adam Eaton.

In the top of the 2nd JT Riddle continued crushing Nats pitching with a double into the rightfield corner off of Gio. Who the HELL is JT Riddle??

First blood from Miami in the top of the 3rd with a Starlin Castro bloop after two walks by Gio. Followed by a ball over Bryce’s head to get two more.

The rest of Gio’s start was an absolute dumpster fire:

4.2 innings: 10 hits, 8 Runs (all earned), 4 walks, 5 K’s. Up to 4.51 ERA on the season.

The Nats spent the rest of the day giving up more runs and letting Urena pitch all over them.

Urena’s final line:

9 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 4 K’s. Just straight up dominated the Nats bats.

Terrible game, terrible series, terrible season.

Next game:

7:05PM ET Tuesday, Velasquez (8-9, 4.13 ERA) vs. Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA)

Quick reminder: Jose Urena is a clown

I don’t care about Atlanta, but plunking a guy for hitting dingers is just plain clown behavior. The unwritten baseball rules are confusing and ridiculous enough, but any sort of “rule” that penalizes a guy for playing the game really well is bananas.

Urena is appealing his suspension, hence why he is allowed to pitch today. But the guy has the pitch for the Marlins so that is punishment enough.

Game 124-In case you missed it…Nats lose 7-5 in extras (10)

Confusion today regarding different roster moves ended with Jefry Rodriguez making the start instead of Milone, but the right-hander gave the Nats a decent start: 5 Innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, and 3 K’s.

Derek Dietrich struck first with a MOONSHOT (his 15th) in the Top of the 2nd.

Trea responded with his 15th #dinger of the season as well

We hadn’t seen Tim Collins since the St. Louis series, but he had a short and sweet appearance in this one: one batter, one K.

Davey looked to fireballer Jimmy Cordero in the 6th in a 2-2 game, he struck out Dean with the bases loaded before giving up a two RBI single to JT Riddle #natskiller. Also of note: Murph with a HUGE error on an easy double play ball. This team loves to make big mistakes.

Quick shout-out to Krystal Koons. She’s still causing young Nats MASN watchers nightmares every game

Matty Adams stepped into the box with bases loaded and 0 outs in the bottom of the 7th and was so intimidating that the Marlins reliever Guerrero physically threw up via wild pitch and got a run in before popping up to the infield.

Trea with a dink and dunk to centerfield and the game was all tied up at 4-4.

Riddle struck again in the 9th, as he finished his day with:

RBI Double in the 5th

2 RBI Single in the 6th

Solo homer in the 9th

Adam Eaton (Spanky per his player’s weekend jersey) hit a #dinger solo shot in the 9th to tie the game back up.

In extra innings Koda faced bases loaded with two outs…and gave up a two run RBI single to .250 Isaac Galloway…

Nothing doing in the 10th as the Marlins shut the door and handed the Nats the loss.

Next Game:

1:35PM tomorrow, Urena (3-12 4.74 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-9 4.12 ERA)

D.C. Washington is the GOAT

Obviously Aretha gets her props, but locally, D.C. Washington straight crushes it every time.

Good timing, tempo, energy, name, voice, the guy is a five-tool player.

He plays big in the key moments, and always brings it on the field. Put him in the bullpen, he can’t be any worse than Trevor Gott.

UPDATE:

Little Leaguer throws bat after walk-off, Jose Urena ready to bean him.

Gotta love the swagger here. Callback to when our boy Bryce made the Derby his bitch.

Game 123-In case you missed it…Nats win 8-2

Despite the two-run 7th, the Nats got back above .500 with a strong pitching performance from Mad Max (5 inn, 6 hits, 7 k’s) and a few taters from Zimmerman and Wieters.

A solid win no doubt, but still it’s the god damn Marlins.

Other noteables:

-Max grabs another double to add to his tally for the year (2, and now batting .296)

-Harp goes 3 for 4 with 2 RBI #Heatingup

-In Trevor Gott’s two appearances since June he has given up 3 earned runs, including 2 tonight

Next game:

7:05pm tomorrow, Chen vs. Milone