Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Beat Houston Astros, But Did You See The 'Stros Botch That Bunt? Hilarious.

Aug 6, 2012; Houston, TX; USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrate defeating the Houston Astros 5-4 in the eleventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

• A play so bad it's still being talked about 12 hours later with the video included with every story on it because you just have to see it for yourself. Oh, Astros! And did you see Scott Moore leap out of the way? [laughs] A game in which the Washington Nationals set a team record for most hits without an extra base knock. The Nats won their third-straight game last night courtesy of some ugly play by the Astros in front of the smallest crowd in the 13-year history of Houston's Minute Maid Park. Tyler Clippard blew a save. Roger Bernadina ignored a "Stop!" sign. Last night's game between the Astros and Nats had it all, including extra innings. The best part? Three more games in Houston. Tonight it's Ross Detwiler vs Jordan Lyles. 8:05 pm EDT. Until then, you can read about Suzuki's almost-botched-bunt and watch that video over and over. You can get started, RIGHT NOW!!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!:


• NATS BEAT:

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated the high percentage of non-fastballs was part of the team's game plan in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park, and not the work of either the pitchers or [Kurt] Suzuki." - "Kurt Suzuki's education of the Nationals' staff is ongoing" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "On the fly, he had to learn their pitches – how Edwin Jackson’s slider breaks straight down, say, or how Ryan Mattheus’s sinker dives." - "Kurt Suzuki’s crash course in learning the Nationals’ pitching staff" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The good thing was that it played out in front of 13,843 — the lowest announced crowd in Minute Maid Park history." - "Astros’ 5-4 loss to Nats extra excruciating" - Zachary Levine, Houston Chronicle

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman was one of those rare players capable of making an impact both offensively and defensively. He twice drove in 100-plus runs for bad teams." - "Richard Justice: Ryan Zimmerman savors Nats' breakout season" - Richard Justice, nationals.com: News

• "The Izturis acquisition was on a straight waiver claim, meaning the Nationals won't be giving up any players in return for the 32-year-old middle infielder." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats acquire Cesar Izturis, DeRosa lands on DL (Severino DFA)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Suffice it to say, even the Bad News Bears would have been embarrassed to botch one play in such spectacular fashion." - "Bailed out by baseball's worst bunch" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Cesar] Izturis, a light-hitting but slick-fielding veteran, hit .235 with two home runs for the Brewers this season. But he fills a need for the Nationals..." - "Shortstop Cesar Izturis claimed off waivers by Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Monday night, in response to the team that calls it home, Minute Maid Park brimmed with the energy of a Safeway pet food aisle." - "Nationals vs. Astros: Roger Bernadina scores winning run in 11th inning on Kurt Suzuki bunt, Houston’s bad defense." - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "If [Mark] DeRosa was unavailable and something happened to either Espinosa or Steve Lombardozzi, Johnson would have been forced to get creative -- perhaps a little too creative for his liking." - "Nationals claim shortstop Cesar Izturis off waivers from Brewers" - Paul Casella, nationals.com: News

• "[Cesar] Itzuris' acquisition was a straight waiver claim, not a trade, so the Nationals aren't giving up any players for him." - "Nats claim Izturis from Brewers" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Houston Astros are a woebegone franchise these days, a doormat for the rest of the National League." - "Thanks to comedy of errors, Nats eke out win against Astros in 11th" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'He's got great instincts. It's fun to watch him, how smooth he is,' second baseman Steve Lombardozzi said." - Lombo on LaRoche - "Nationals' LaRoche always has the scoop" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The Nationals announced Monday the signing of four international players, two from Venezuela and two from the Dominican Republic..." - "Nationals sign four international players" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Jayson] Werth may have surprised himself, but not Johnson. The skipper said he could tell in Spring Training that Werth was back on track after a disappointing 2011..." - "Werth feeling good, swinging hot bat since return" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• "[Ross] Detwiler is coming off arguably his best start of the season, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Phillies on Thursday." - "Washington Nationals at Houston Astros - August 7, 2012" - Tom Green, MLB.com Preview

• "Even when the Nationals were able to bring across the eventual game-winning run, they couldn't do it without getting some major - and boy, do I mean major - help from their opponents." - "Nationals Pastime: A win is a win is a win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Ian] Desmond made throws from 70-80 feet and took several ground balls on the infield, making a shorter throw at that point as the Nationals' trainers looked on." - "Ian Desmond threw and took grounders for first time since going on DL" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Cesar] Izturis, 32, is hitting only .235/.248/.333 this season. But he’s regarded as a tremendous defensive player and gives the Nationals a reliable option all over the infield." - "Cesar Izturis a solid ‘insurance policy’ for the Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "In that bizarre sequence of events during the 11th inning, all the Nationals' earlier mistakes were washed away, and they escaped with a 5-4 win in the opener of a four-game series..." - "Washington Nationals at Houston Astros - August 6, 2012" - Adam Berry, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Drew Storen very nearly blew the Nationals' one-run lead in the eighth inning. Tyler Clippard did in the ninth." - "Nationals Pastime: Middle of Nats' order packs a punch (Nats win an 11-inning slopfest)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "While [Ian] Desmond’s drills were reassuring, his success will not alter the timeline for the return of the Nationals’ all-star shortstop." - "Ian Desmond takes grounders, Nationals staying cautious with his return" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "His bat has become essentially irreplaceable in the Nationals’ lineup. His defense, while less quantifiable, is often impeccable..." - "Nationals' Adam LaRoche a constant presence — constantly good" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Starting RHP David Fischer (1-3) took the loss for Auburn, going five innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits, walking one and striking out three." - "Doubledays swept by Cyclones" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: Legends 3, Suns 1 - Billy Burns, 2 for 3, 1BB; Brian Rauh - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "It is expected that [Anthony] Rendon will return to the P-Nats lineup at third base Tuesday night at Myrtle Beach." - "Rendon joining Potomac at Myrtle Beach, expected to play Tuesday" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Meanwhile, Buffalo starter Zack Wheeler, in his Triple-A debut, cruised early. He didn't allow a run on just one hit and struck out seven over the game's first four innings, but the Chiefs got to him in the bottom of the fifth inning." - "Chiefs, Bisons split twin bill" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "[Kurt] Suzuki isn’t trying to be punk-rock or goth, or to harken back to his youth, or to brighten up the dreary hours in front of a plate. And he isn’t even wearing finger-nail polish." - "Kurt Suzuki’s bright yellow finger nails" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "One of the pleasures is finding odd or unique articles. I found this in the District News and Facts, dated. 1 October 1895. "The Day the Aces got Trumped," by Parson Nicholson." - "The Day the Aces got Trumped" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Video: Watch the Astros become the Bad News Bears" - Nats Enquirer

• "The Washington Nationals went into Minute Maid Park looking to take advantage of the MLB-worst Houston Astros, and they did just about everything they could to squander the opportunity in game one." - "Cue Carnival Music: Nats Win" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "After watching his last two appearances, one on television, one in person (the second game of Friday's doubleheader split with the Miami Marlins), it appears that Gonzalez's strengths are being muted by his greatest weakness..." - "Gio Gonzalez is his own worst enemy" - Nationals Buzz: Stephen Walker, MASNSports.com

• "All night long, but especially in the bullpen, the Nats pitched backwards, starting the Astros hitters off with breaking ball after breaking ball, as if they were facing the most powerful team in the league." - "Washington Nationals Game 109 Review: Nats beat Astros on 'Bad News Bears' play in 11th" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Simmer down, if you are calling for the Mets to cut Jason Bay. It is not time for that, and it is not close." - "NY Mets should stick with struggling Jason Bay for now" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves: "My, how times have changed. The Braves’ big decisions of late center around if they should wear their socks up again to ward off bad karma on Mondays." - "Braves win seventh straight vs. Phils" - Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marlins: "'We set ourselves up for it,' acknowledged Marlins president David Samson of a grand makeover that failed miserably." - "NEW YORK: Last-place Miami Marlins lament $190 million spending spree" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "Stand in the middle of the Phillies clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park and look up. The white ceiling is splotched with brown stains, the remnants of champagne celebrations from yesteryear." - "Sloppy Phillies fall to the Braves again, 6-1" - Matt Gelb, Philly.com

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