How ya feeling Bryce, you look like you're dragging limping and dragging around a 40 pound weight, oh good you're fine. Nevermind then.

Nationals drop game to the Phillies, Postseason hopes not far behind

As Bob Dylan once sang, “It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin there.” So too the Nationals’ playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, but they’re getting there. Monday, after Scott Hairston quit striking out and finally hit the ball and the Nationals pulled ahead, Tyler Clippard couldn’t get the 3rd out and gave up two in the 8th as the Nationals dropped the opening game of their series 3-2.

It’s hard to be too upset with Clippard, he’s been the model of consistency and one of the bright spots this year for the Nats. After he got two outs for the Nats to start the 8th, Clippard walked Hernandez to bring up Mr. “1st Place Goes Through Philly” himself, Jimmy Rollins. Clippard quickly got Rollins to two strikes, but couldn’t put him away and he smoked a double that scored Hernandez, then Carlos Ruiz singled to drive in Rollins and Harper’s throw, like the Nat’s season, was a bit up the line.  Somewhere along the line Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Strasburg was stellar and blah, blah, blah.

The Nats are now 7.5 games back of the Reds for the second Wild Card slot and I’m sure it could happen, but whatever, this season has been a letdown. Kind of like watching the final episode of “Lost” 162 times.

The Nats should shut Bryce Harper down now that they’re out of it. Harpe was gimping all over the field on Monday night. Don’t worry though, because Davey asked him how he was doing and Bryce told him he was fine. Now, I’m not a medical professional, but I highly doubt the best way to determine the health of your highly competitive, 20 year old, once in a generation talent is to ask him how he feels. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s probably the dumbest thing a team can do. That’s a page right out of the Michael Scott book of management.

Oh, you thought because I started with a Dylan quote this was going to be all introspective and cerebral. Nope, this is one fan realizing that the team he thought was going to win eleventy hundred games this year isn’t going to make the playoffs. Oh sure, there’s always next year, the Nats are young, but remember, the same guys who thought trading Alex Meyer for Denard Span was a good idea and bringing back an aging Adam LaRoche will be making the decisions again this offseason, so don’t get your hopes up too much. Perhaps, they’ll just ask prospective free agents how they’re feeling and go with that.

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Tags: Washington Nationals

  • Shawn Casey

    My man Josh, awesome article and I feel you’ve finally come around to my thinking. The problem with the Nats is Rizzy the ahem GM. Here are my ideas for the final attempt to get the last playoff spot:
    1. Bench LaRoche for Tyler Moore and use Adam as a defensive stopper in the late innings.
    2. I hate to say this but it is time to end the Rendon experiment and go with Lambo at second for the rest of the season.
    3. Storen needs to be the closer for the rest of the season to prepare him for next year…there will be pressure to perform since we still have an outside chance.
    4. I agree shut down Harper, either he can be a pinch hitter or completely out and either put Hairston or Lambo in left (depending on the Rendon situation in #2).
    5. Instead of Olendorf start Roark and see what you have.
    Thats just a few things I would do…but you know Davey…what is the defination of insanity?…

    • JWLumley

      I wouldn’t say I’ve completely come around. Rendon is much better than Lombo because Lombo doesn’t walk, like at all, and he doesn’t hit for power. Also, I wouldn’t completely bench LOLaRoche, but I would platoon him with Moore. Quite frankly, I think 1B is the biggest hole the Nationals need to address in the offseason. Pretty slim pickings out there though.

      As for Rizzo, I’m not a big fan, but apparently the Lerners are, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on him going anywhere any time soon.

      At least OU won, so I have something to distract me….

      • Shawn Casey

        OU as in the Sooners? Dude I am a lifetime Sooner fan.
        Why go outside the team to find a 1st baseman…Moore is the future at 1st. As for Lambo he may not walk but he has sneaky power and he makes contact…that would have been huge in the ninth last night.

        • JWLumley


          The reason to go outside the organization is that Tyler Moore is not going to be an elite or probably even league average 1B. His strikeout totals in the minor leagues suggest issues with pitch recognition and his slumps in the big leagues seem to indicate that he’s somewhere between a solid platoon/bench player and AAAA guy. I really like him personally, but it’s just not there.

          • Shawn Casey

            I disagree, Moore’s last stint in the minors was eye opening…traditionally 1st base is a power hitting position…moore has shown with consistent PT he will be an excellant 1st baseman…maybe not the glove LaRoche is but a more consistent and powerful hitter. Are you from Oklahoma? If so where?

  • BeltwayBoy Sports

    Great post Josh! It’s really an unbelievable thing to see the team we all thought was a legit World Series contender coming into this season, fighting their hearts out just to be a .500 team in September! I think Tyler Moore’s swinging a very hot stick right now and needed to get the start at first base last night in place of a badly slumping Adam LaRoche! I’m not saying to bench LaRoche full time, but our season is slipping painfully away and Moore’s bat needs to be in the lineup considering the situation. I hate to say it but we need to have Harper checked out with an MRI to see exactly what is going on with the kid’s health. He needs to sit until the team knows exactly whats at stake by playing him anymore. Will rest cure whatever is going on or should he have a procedure to fix something? We need him healthy going into next season. I hate to see his bat out of the lineup, but we’ve got to protect him from further damage.

    • JWLumley

      Agreed sir, and thanks for the kind remarks. Moore needs to play every time there’s a lefty starting moving forward unless LaRoche goes on one of his hot streaks. As for the MRI with Harper, it’s hard to know where to assign blame without being on the inside of the organization, but something is seriously broken with regards to how the Nats handle injuries. Danny Espinosa, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, etc. etc. Guys are allowed to go too long before being sat down.