My favorite theory on why Livan has pitched so well this year and seems to only pitch well for Washington is that he is a Cuban spy and has to do everything he can to stay in the nation's capital.
The Nationals showed a lot of pride last night. A quality some people including the manager had been waiting to see for awhile. --Mark Zuckerman at natsinsider.com
I am sure if you have been at Nts Park a lot this season you may have noticed Ian Desmond trying to console pitchers in the midst of a tough inning. I once saw him approach the mound so many times the bench had to wave him off. Funny stuff. Anyway, Desmond may have become the teams vocal leader despite being a rookie. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
I remember the last time the Nats played the Braves to open the season at home. It was fun. Maybe this one will be too. MLB schedules are out. Time to plan those road trips. --Bill Ladson from nationals.com
While I agree that the Nats offense won't be as good without Dunn. I do not think that comparing up the middle players to a first baseman is the best way to understand the drop off. Interesting none the less, but I would like to know MLB averages in ISO for SS, 2B, CF, and C. --Harper at natsbaseball.com
More news and insightful information after the jump.
Don't know how I missed this one, but Kennedy's option not likely to be picked up. --Steve Adams from mlbtraderumors.com
Pick two points on a straight line and it is still a straight line. Pick two points on a curving line and it could be ascending or descending. A look at some players stats from arbitrary end points. --Dave Nichols at natsnewsnetwork.com
Some 17 year old prospect has started workouts with the Nationals' instructional league. --Mark Decotis at floridatoday.com
Et tu Bisenius. That is what I will yell or at least think in my head if Bisenius ever gives up the lead late in the ballgame. With that name I expect him to live in some countryside villa and own gladiators, and have meetings with men in togas where they all call him good Bisenius and gentle Bisenius while plotting behind his back. Good Bisenius is happy to be healthy and with the Nats, and Nats fans are happy to have a reliever that throws 98 and has an awesome name. --Byron Kerr at masnsports.com
The NL has had some amazing rookies, and any other year Ian Desmond might be more in the conversation, but this year he is just a footnote. --Ed Price from fanhouse.com
Yesterday we had a little bit of anti-Riggleman, and today we have someone that believes in Riggleman. --Jenn at natsfangirls.com
The Nationals haven't played that well lately, and are starting to be caught by some teams. Could the Nationals finish with a top five pick again this season? --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Around the NL East
Derek Lowe had a big night the other night against some team that has a lot of young players, and it appears this type of night might be expected mroe from young players adjusting to the big leagues than Derek Lowe. Sometimes it is good to step back and see what outsiders think. --R.J. Anderson fangraphs.com
If you could be the God of baseball for one day what would you do? Some interesting choices that I mostly agree with including getting rid of the DH and expanding replay. --Maury Brown at fangraphs.com
Team Felix vs Team C.C.* First the original column that is a vote for Team C.C. because he is pitching under more pressure. --Jon Paul Morosi from foxsports.com
*Someone should really photoshop some Team Edward and Team Jacob stuff for this debate.
And the response which says in part wait until the end of the season, but is a vote for Team Felix. Whose side are you on? --Larry Stone at seattletimes.com
Baseball is full of good stories, and a pitcher that doesn't just have a charity to cure a disease but may be smart enough to cure it himself is a great story. --Jeff Passan at yahoosports.com
Incase you are interested I asked my wife what she thought about what Clinton Portis said and she said, "Why do you think we sit in the left field bleachers when Willingham is playing?" I think a lot of us miss Willingham for all sorts of reasons. Hopefully he comes back strong next season. Speaking of coming back strong Lannan has looked great since coming back from the minors, now with strike out. Hopefully it continues today.