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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WaPo: Nationals obliterate Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants

confidently predicted that not only would the Nationals lose the division to the Braves, they would quite possibly miss the playoffs altogether!

SAN FRANCISCO — Monday night, already looking down on the rest of the major leagues, the Washington Nationals displayed the full extent of their substantial might. They opposed the National League ERA leader and scored two touchdowns worth of runs by the fifth inning, extra points included. Their starter came off a complete game and yielded nothing for six innings. They faced a first-place team and picked their bones clean.

These Nationals can no longer be considered merely an ascendant overachiever. They are a juggernaut, a fact reinforced with jaw-dropping clarity during their 14-2 bludgeoning of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, which matched the largest margin of victory since baseball returned to Washington.

They smashed eight runs off Ryan Vogelsong, who had not allowed four all season, and sent him skulking off the mound with two outs in the third inning. Gio Gonzalez shut down the Giants’ previously surging offense, throwing six scoreless innings before yielding a cosmetic two-run homer in the seventh. [...]

The Nationals’ 21 hits set a new AT&T Park record and tied their team mark.

By the end of the night, the Nationals had ratcheted Ryan Vogelsong’s ERA from 2.27 to 2.72, which left Jordan Zimmermann, Tuesday night’s starter, with the NL lead at 2.35. The victory, combined with the Atlanta Braves’ loss to the San Diego Padres, pushed the Nationals’ edge to 5 ½ games in the National League East, a new high this season and tying their largest lead since baseball returned.

” cols=“100” rows=“20”>

This can’t possibly be. Why, just a few days ago, Chris Dial confidently predicted that not only would the Nationals lose the division to the Braves, they would quite possibly miss the playoffs altogether!

SAN FRANCISCO — Monday night, already looking down on the rest of the major leagues, the Washington Nationals displayed the full extent of their substantial might. They opposed the National League ERA leader and scored two touchdowns worth of runs by the fifth inning, extra points included. Their starter came off a complete game and yielded nothing for six innings. They faced a first-place team and picked their bones clean.

These Nationals can no longer be considered merely an ascendant overachiever. They are a juggernaut, a fact reinforced with jaw-dropping clarity during their 14-2 bludgeoning of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, which matched the largest margin of victory since baseball returned to Washington.

They smashed eight runs off Ryan Vogelsong, who had not allowed four all season, and sent him skulking off the mound with two outs in the third inning. Gio Gonzalez shut down the Giants’ previously surging offense, throwing six scoreless innings before yielding a cosmetic two-run homer in the seventh. [...]

The Nationals’ 21 hits set a new AT&T Park record and tied their team mark.

By the end of the night, the Nationals had ratcheted Ryan Vogelsong’s ERA from 2.27 to 2.72, which left Jordan Zimmermann, Tuesday night’s starter, with the NL lead at 2.35. The victory, combined with the Atlanta Braves’ loss to the San Diego Padres, pushed the Nationals’ edge to 5 ½ games in the National League East, a new high this season and tying their largest lead since baseball returned.

Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:07 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, nationals, san francisco, washington

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   1. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4207825)
This can’t possibly be. Why, just a few days ago, Chris Dial confidently predicted that not only would the Nationals lose the division to the Braves, they would quite possibly miss the playoffs altogether!

Best record in all of baseball by 2.5 games, best run differential in all of baseball at +108, best team ERA in all of baseball at 3.24, and offensive numbers that just keep getting better and better as they have now scored 253 runs in their last 45 games. Oh, and 27 out of their last 46 games will be at home, and the remaining schedule is far from nasty or anything.

Sure, Atlanta could still take the division and we're still at the stage of the season where ALMOST anything in theory could happen, but what are the realistic odds that the Nats miss the playoffs completely, like maybe 2 or 3 percent at most? Silly Mets fan.
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4207829)
Are you saying it's a lock that the Nationals make the playoffs?
   3. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4207831)
Are you saying it's a lock that the Nationals make the playoffs?

It's still too early to say that it's a 100% lock, but at 97 or 98%, it's pretty damn close.

In any event, Dial's "analysis" that Esoteric linked to is easily one of the most silliest, most bizarre baseball items I've read here in all my years at the site.
   4. Honkie Kong Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4207836)
It's still too early to say that it's a 100% lock, but at 97 or 98%, it's pretty damn close.

Now all you need is to Ray to echo this statement, and we are all set....
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4207840)
Link doesn't work.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4207854)
I think Chris is totally wrong, but it's never a good idea to boast after one great game with so much left to play. If the Nats coast to the title, then that's totally expected and if they blow it you look like the next Ray.
   7. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4207859)
Man, why does this submission system sometimes do this weird doubling-up glitch?
   8. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4207863)
Gee, so you(?), um, really showed Chris Dial? (?)
   9. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4207864)
Gee, so you(?), um, really showed Chris Dial? (?)
Dude, it was just a hook to hang an article posting on.

But Dial does have a history of outrageously stupid predictions. The RDP/Red Sox fiasco from last year has obscured the reality that it's Dial who is really Primer's own Dave Cameron.
   10. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4207868)
Oh, and here's the link to the WaPo article...apparently the submission system is experiencing serious bugginess -- it chewed up the URL at the same time it did the weird glitchy thing it's done above as well.
   11. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4207874)
Careful, Esoteric... you don't want to end up eating a big helping of DiPerna pie.

Anyone who has watched baseball for a long time knows exactly how this will play out.

(1) The Braves and Nationals engage in a heated dogfight pennant race. After 162 games, both teams are tied. A one-game playoff decides who wins the decision. (For reasons explained below, the eventual winner of the division is not significant.)

(2) The Cardinals spend eight weeks repeatedly raping the Astros and as a result, are able to barely grab the 2nd wild card.

(3) The exhausted loser of the one-game NL East playoff is handily defeated by the Cardinals in the Wild Card Game.

(4) The Cardinals then go on to win 3 straight playoff series and repeat as World Champions.

Signed, a bitter baseball/Nationals fan
   12. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4207876)
And as far as the Red Sox epic collapse of last season goes, rest assured that our starting pitchers aren't spending their off days becoming a bunch of fat boys consuming fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse while the games are going on. They're sitting right there in the dugout the whole time, watching the opposing hitters and paying attention to the games like they're supposed to be.
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4207878)
They're sitting right there in the dugout the whole time, watching the opposing hitters and paying attention to the games like they're supposed to be.


And, if we are to believe the reports, one of them will be doing nothing but sitting and watching right at the end of the season when they might need him most.
   14. jmurph Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4207881)
My god, the aggrieved Nats fan routine is getting to be very annoying here. And I say this as a fan (after the Red Sox) of... the Nationals.
   15. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4207884)
Guapo's scenerio sounds far too real for me as a DC fan. I have to stop being encouraged by things like the Nats scoring 14 runs in that park against a great pitcher. Ah, that's just a fluke, right? Maybe the guy had a stomach virus he didn't tell anyone about.

I only resisted that friggin playoff deposit for all of three days.
   16. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4207885)
Werth tweaked his ankle again, apparently.

Harper looked pretty good. 2 hits, and I saw him hit the ball solidly at least one more time. Hopefully he's coming out of his funk a little.
   17. Lassus Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4207886)
But Dial does have a history of outrageously stupid predictions. The RDP/Red Sox fiasco from last year has obscured the reality that it's Dial who is really Primer's own Dave Cameron.

Eso, do you really want to turn into Joey Jr.?
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4207888)
eating a big helping of DiPerna pie


This is the worst porno ever.
   19. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4207889)
Eso, do you really want to turn into Joey Jr.?


Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo.
   20. Natty Fan Posted: August 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4207892)
#14 -- I have to agree. I am a full-time Nats fanatic, but I wince every time a Nats-related post hits this newsblog anymore. I believe in this team, and I'm really enjoying the ride, but ... baseball can be a humbling game, man.
   21. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4207942)
#14 -- I have to agree. I am a full-time Nats fanatic, but I wince every time a Nats-related post hits this newsblog anymore. I believe in this team, and I'm really enjoying the ride, but ... baseball can be a humbling game, man.
You're telling me! I might point out that I didn't write the article (that would be the Nats' beat writer), though I am guilty as charged of the snarky lede. Furthermore, Lassus can vouch for the fact that, despite being "the guy" who submits Nats articles to Primer (hey, someone has to cover the beat, right? It seems to have fallen to me by default), and despite being super-thrilled about the team's performance this year, I alternate between exhilaration and absolute 100% despairing conviction that the Nats will never win another game. It's bred into my bones as a young DC native. Being a fan of this area's sports (since 1991 at least) has acquainted me with the true meaning of loss and hopelessness. Well, 2002 NCAA Tourney excepted.

The Nats have a 5.5 game lead on a very, very, very good team in the Braves. They pose a constant threat. It's entirely realistic that they overtake them for the division lead by the end of the season. (A good run against the Nats in their remaining head-to-head games is all it would take to even things up dramatically.) But despite my dispositional inclination toward despair, I have to tell myself, intellectually, with each passing victory, that...hey, this might be the year.

Oh, and Guapo's scenario in #11 is horrifyingly plausible. See, that's the thing: Guapo's "Cards as classical Greek nemesis" (because it's always the Cards...why does it always have to be the CARDINALS?) scenario isn't just the sort of thing I constantly worry about, it's the sort of thing that I often think is too OPTIMISTIC. Somewhere in my heart I still fully expect a catastrophic collapse, even though I know it's statistically and historically unlikely at this point.
   22. Stevis Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4207956)
BPro's odds have them at 99.3% It was 100% a couple of days ago. (Those are playoffs as a whole; 86.2% for the division).
   23. JJ1986 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4207959)
BPro's odds have them at 99.3% It was 100% a couple of days ago. (Those are playoffs as a whole; 86.2% for the division).


I don't think they should ever be showing 100% until clinching. Even if it rounds that way, just list it as 99.9%.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4207982)
I generally think of playoff odds, under the new systems, as:

Odds of winning division + (.5 * odds of winning a wild card)

One and done in the play-in game isn't much of a postseason. The Nats are obviously big favorites to play in the postseason, and a case can be made that their front-line starting pitching and likely home-field advantage would give them a small edge in the play-in game, if that's where they ended up. That still gives them something like 86 + (.6 * 13) = ~94% odds of making the playoffs. That seems about right to me.
   25. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4207985)
I think the importance of "One and Done" is dependent of a lot of factors. Should the Yankees be happy with OaD? No. But if the Nats make it even that far, it's been a good season.
   26. flournoy Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4207994)
BPro had the Braves at 99.9% odds to make the playoffs a week or so into September last year. Let me know when someone clinches; otherwise, shove the odds where the sun don't shine.
   27. OsunaSakata Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4207995)
On this date in 1969, the Cubs were 1.5 games ahead of the Nats current pace, 9 games ahead of the Cardinals and 10 games ahead of the Mets. There's a lot of season left.
   28. Danny Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4208005)
Sensationalizing the headline is bad enough even when you actually manage to link to the real one.
   29. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4208010)
BPro had the Braves at 99.9% odds to make the playoffs a week or so into September last year. Let me know when someone clinches; otherwise, shove the odds where the sun don't shine.

True, but if this year's playoff format had been in place last year, the Braves would have made the one game wild card playoff.

On this date in 1969, the Cubs were 1.5 games ahead of the Nats current pace, 9 games ahead of the Cardinals and 10 games ahead of the Mets. There's a lot of season left.

Ibid.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4208012)
There usually isn't too much of it, but the "HEY MY TEAM IS GREAT" stuff is about as low as it gets here. Nats threads have been excruciating this year.
   31. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4208018)
On this date in 1969, the Cubs were 1.5 games ahead of the Nats current pace, 9 games ahead of the Cardinals and 10 games ahead of the Mets. There's a lot of season left.
I'm not picking on OsunaSakata here, but this kind of stuff is profoundly stupid. Yes, incredibly collapses do happen.

But they're like planes crashes, we all remember them, even though dozens (hundreds?) of teams with leads like the Nats (and Yankees and Reds...) end up cruising along to victory no problem. MCoA's calculation, which I agree with, probably puts the Nats' odds about right. All these posts about the 6% that do happen are just silliness. Come October, the Nationals will be in the (real) playoffs. So will the Yankees, and the Reds.

There's a lot of legitimate great races--the NL West, the Wild Cards--we don't need to pretend the non-competitive ones are too.
   32. Chris Needham Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4208032)
[25] I think that's true to an extent. But if the Nats end up one-and-done, considering their position today relative to the rest of the league, that's a major disappointment.

I think most Nats fans would've been thrilled with a WC2 slot at the beginning of the year. But expectations change as reality sinks in. Nobody had Philly as a 4th place team. Nobody had the Nats with the best record in baseball. It's a weak year in the NL, in general, and the Nats have taken advantage. The expectations today absolutely are different.
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4208046)
Chris, any failure at all is going to leave a lot of fans disappointed. But ten, fifteen years from now, I think Nats fans would look at the season-ending numbers, say "Here's where they started to make the playoffs", and that's the end of it.

It's certainly a better way to get the rest of the league to take you seriously than overpaying Jayson Werth.
   34. Chris Needham Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4208084)
say "Here's where they started to make the playoffs", and that's the end of it.

And this goes to my problem with the Strasburg decision... that's an awfully big assumption to make there.
   35. JJ1986 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4208089)
Nobody had Philly as a 4th place team.


I think Lassus did.
   36. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4208107)
I think we will know for sure after the Braves series in Washington 8/20-22. See you at the ballpark on the 22nd. But it's possible to be happy and confident without getting trapped into the "there's no way we can lose" mindset.
   37. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4208124)
I can't stop thinking about all the possible ways we can lose, in fact.
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4208127)
Noteworthy points in today's Washington Post (1) even disregarding Strasburg's stats completely, the Nationals rotation would have the lowest ERA in MLB (3.30); and (2) the Nationals had scored the most runs in the NL since the All-Star Game heading into this game, in which they padded that lead a bit.

Edit: Took 2 attempts to get it right.
   39. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4208145)
Really like this team, though....not too long ago Shairon Martis and Garrett Mock were integral parts of the rotation, with Anderson Hernandez and Elijah Dukes as key position players. Long way from there.
   40. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4208147)
There usually isn't too much of it, but the "HEY MY TEAM IS GREAT" stuff is about as low as it gets here. Nats threads have been excruciating this year.

I formally propose a deal: we Nats fans will stop with the gloating when the concern trolls and the jealous haters give it a rest with all the bullshite about how the Nats are going to collapse.
   41. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4208150)
Really like this team, though....not too long ago Shairon Martis and Garrett Mock were integral parts of the rotation, with Anderson Hernandez and Elijah Dukes as key position players. Long way from there.
Four words for you: "Starting centerfielder - Nook Logan."

EDIT: One of my all-time favorite radio calls from Charlie Slowes, says it all really.
   42. JJ1986 Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4208153)
I think it was just two years ago that they were prominently featuring Wil Nieves in tv spots.
   43. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4208154)
Remember when Jason Bergmann was supposed to be "the future?"
   44. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4208159)
Four words for you: "Starting centerfielder - Nook Logan


Forgot all about him. Thank God.
   45. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4208161)
Forgot all about him. Thank God.
Be sure to listen the Youtube video I linked. You'll remember all over again.
   46. Guapo Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4208166)
The Wil Nieves commercial.

God, that was embarrassing.
   47. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4208169)
God, that was embarrassing.
Dear god, I feel the rush of humiliation and shame all over again. The way it's pitched, too...it's almost like the Nats are embarrassed to have be using this in a commercial! "Wil Nieves...who? WIL NIEVES!"

Oddly enough, the commercial's central contention -- "NOW they'll know who Wil Nieves is!" -- curiously failed to come true.
   48. TerpNats Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4208177)
And don't forget local yokel Justin Maxwell, who hit a memorable grand slam to beat the Mets in the 2009 home finale and now is a cleanup hitter for the worst team in MLB.
   49. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4208178)
The Wil Nieves commercial.


Why did they use one of the Super Mario Brothers in their ad?
   50. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4208194)
MASN used to do these terrible commercials with local fans and Nick Markakis, or somebody, in which the fans would beat their chest about what Markakis or John Lannan were going to do to the Yankees and Chipper Jones (this was apparently a random selection). Neither team won 60 games, but the Yankees and Braves were supposed to be up all night worrying about what the Orioles and Nats had in store for them. Embarrassing.
I can't get the You Tube here Eso but I will check it later.
   51. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4208202)
I can't get the You Tube here Eso but I will check it later
It's well worth hearing. The questions "WHY? WHAT WAS NOOK LOGAN THINKING?? WHAT WAS HE WATCHING?? WHERE WAS HE GOING?!?" figure prominently.
   52. Chris Needham Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4208210)
[50] I loved those commercials. It'd be like "Watch out, Yankees. John Lannan holds left-handed hitters to a .285 batting average in night games! Lannan. Jeter. Be THERE!"
   53. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4208222)
John Lannan holds left-handed hitters to a .285 batting average in night games! Lannan. Jeter. Be THERE!"


Heh. Those were great.
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4208246)
Why did they use one of the Super Mario Brothers in their ad?


I figured this was a Sal Fasano joke. But bb-ref tells me that he never played for the Nats. So I'm lost.

Speaking of Sal, I'll never forget when he hit his home run for the Yankees. He looked like the most surprised guy in the ballpark that he had hit it. Running around the bases, pipe wrenches and stuff were falling out of his pockets.
   55. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4208258)
MASN actually made a Nook Logan spot. And also spelled Peavy as "Peavey" in one of them, but whatever. Literally nobody cared, not even MASN.
   56. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4208264)
Speaking of MASN, there's an article in the Post talking about how the Nats still aren't even close to agreeing on a TV rights number with Sauron of Baltimore. I suspect that a lawsuit is almost inevitable.
   57. Chris Needham Posted: August 14, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4208269)
I can't imagine there's a lawsuit. There's a contract and an arbitration process in place. It's the latter that's taking so long.

I love the particulars of the numbers: The Nats get about $29M now. They're asking for like $100M. The Orioles have countered with $35M. No wonder it's taking so long to bridge that gap.
   58. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4208406)
I love the particulars of the numbers: The Nats get about $29M now. They're asking for like $100M. The Orioles have countered with $35M. No wonder it's taking so long to bridge that gap.
It's in the Nats' interests to not budge, either, because 1.) they're actually quite likely to win a binding arbitration with their figure given the sudden competitiveness of the franchsive (is arb binding here?); 2.) Father Bud will almost certainly step in at some point before it goes that far and broker a deal. The less they concede now, the better off their final position.
   59. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4208428)
Break up these big market teams like the Nationals, I'm so sick and tired of their constantly winning.
   60. boteman Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4208488)
Speaking of Sal, I'll never forget when he hit his home run for the Yankees. He looked like the most surprised guy in the ballpark that he had hit it.

Are you kidding? This guy leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. Why, when this guy sneezes he looks like a party favor!
   61. Joey B. Posted: August 14, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4208489)
Yeah, at this point the true value of their TV rights is probably going up significantly with every game they win.
   62. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4208567)
MASN used to do these terrible commercials with local fans and Nick Markakis, or somebody, in which the fans would beat their chest about what Markakis or John Lannan were going to do to the Yankees and Chipper Jones (this was apparently a random selection)


In fairness, John Lannan does seem to flat own the Braves. You'd think facing him 751 times over the past half decade would give them some clue how to hit him, but apparently not.

   63. Honkie Kong Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4208568)
In fairness, John Lannan does seem to flat own the Braves. You'd think facing him 751 times over the past half decade would give them some clue how to hit him, but apparently not

Thats not even the most bizarre one. Soft tossing lefties stump a few teams. Braves' have a noticeable weakness against such pitchers. So maybe excuse that.
But the Braves' do well against soft tossing righties ( Even Livan they started hitting well ) except 1. Kyle Kendrick. He absolutely owns the Braves. Is horrendous against all other teams, but the Braves can't buy a run off him.

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