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Tonight's lineups today

The communications staff does good work here at Miller Park. Lineups already posted.

Washington

Bonifacio - 4
Guzman - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Kearns - 9
Milledge - 8
Flores - 2
Belliard - 3
Harris - 7
Redding - 1

Milwaukee

Durham - 4
Hardy - 6
Braun - 7
Fielder - 3
Hart - 9
Branyan - 5
Cameron - 8
Kendall - 2
Sheets - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  August 9, 2008; 3:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Picks and Runs

Comments

Thanks for the lineups. Hope that Bernie Brewer takes the day off. :D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 9, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

From a sliding perspective, that is.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 9, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Yo, if Chico is going to be this prompt in posting the lineups, then all of you out there who decry Kearns at cleanup need to be just as prompt in getting your daily digs in. Step it up there, guys! (And gals too, of course - although I do have the impression that the chicks here dig Kearns's long ball, such as it is.)

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | August 9, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"If there are chicks out there who dig Kearns' long ball they are mightily unfulfilled," he said as he picked up RKGF's white glove from the dirt.

Posted by: Dale | August 9, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico, maybe you could ask Bowden (if he's around) about the possibility of announcing the signing of a draftee on Monday? Rumors are swirling around...

Posted by: PJ | August 9, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Can you ask Bowden about the rumor that he is being replaced internally after this season?

Oh and tell him to leave Boone rehabbing in the minors until September

Posted by: Nats fan | August 9, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Austin Kearns is a below average major league baseball player.

No dig required, the facts do all the work.

Posted by: Ok, Ahole | August 9, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, smartypants. Kearns sucks. It disgusts me that he is able to slide with such pathetic production.

Apples to apples comparisons? Ok. compared to two players with the approximately same number of at bats..

Home runs:
Kearns = 5 in 263 ABs
Zimmerman = 8 in 252 ABs
Flores = 8 in 235 ABs
Belliard (backup 2nd bagger) = 10 in 206 AB
Harris (backup/util player) = 9 in 224 ABs

He has 50+ more ABs than our BACKUP second basemen and HALF the dingers

HALF the dingers of a kid who was supposed to be in AAA because he wasnt ready for major league pitching.

If you would like smartypants, I can do this with batting average, OBP, slugging%

what stat will convince you, Mr Magoo??

Posted by: All 9000 Agree | August 9, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Belliard and Harris are #2 and #3 on this team in long balls and they are batting 7th and 8th... while the starter with the absolute least bats cleanup??

Manny - WTF???? Maybe we should throw you in the deal with Austin. Bye to both!

Posted by: DD | August 9, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

This chick likes Kearns's, ahem, patience at the plate more than his long ball.

;)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 9, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

And ladies can disagree..

you call it "patience at the plate"

I call it "LOOKING at a third strike"

Posted by: Media Guide Momma | August 9, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

with your math, no stat you could bring would convince me.

Home runs:
Kearns = 5 in 263 ABs
...
Belliard (backup 2nd bagger) = 10 in 206 AB
...
[He has]HALF the dingers of a kid who was supposed to be in AAA because he wasnt ready for major league pitching.
...
what stat will convince you, Mr Magoo??
Posted by: All 9000 Agree | August 9, 2008 5:17 PM

Posted by: Belliard is a kid? | August 9, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Probably referring to Flores in the above example. If you actually follow the team you know that they signed LoDuca and Estrada because they wanted Flores to spend the year in AAA. Of course the math isnt exact, but the point is well made, I think. Kearns is underproducing again.

Posted by: Media Guide Momma | August 9, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I think that was in reference to Flores, not belliard.

Posted by: PJ | August 9, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

When I asked Acta after last night's game he said, somewhat jokingly, that I worry too much, and that it's a good thing I don't play for his team, because that's not the kind of attitude you can take into an at bat.

"Man," one team employee said, "I think you were just benched."

so... as long as Austin walks to the plate thinking positively - he cuts to bat clean up and go home with all the money?

hey, Manny, I "think" I can hit the ball!

Posted by: I'm an idiot as well | August 9, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear more from the people who think Kearns SHOULD be in the lineup, SHOULD be hitting in the 4 hole. Is it just that he is a good guy who tries hard? or is there something they see or think will happen soon that justify it?

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | August 9, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to hear more from the people who would NOT like to hear more bellyaching about lineups.

Posted by: 1 of 9000 | August 9, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Really? This isnt a forum to talk about the Nats and who should be playing?

Because I honestly want to know why those who think Kearns deserves to start and bat 4th think that way.

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | August 9, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Funny. I thought .295 indicated pretty good hitting. Which is apparently what Kearns has been hitting since returning from the DL.

But ya'll go on, please. I'd like to hear more about how much he sucks.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 9, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I didnt bring the hostility to the table!!

Seriously, I wanted to hear from the other side of the aisle since most postings on here are from people who dont like him.

DC seems to have too many people who have already decided what "I am saying" without realizing what I actually said.

I was asking a real question of people, but since its started the flamers...

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | August 9, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it, this team's active roster does not have an ideal #4 hitter.

Kearns, as much as some love to hate him, has hit .267 / .353 / .397 as the #4, mostly because those ABs have come since his recovery from his injury. That .353, heavy as it is on BBs, is good for this team (Guz and Willy are over .360 at leadoff; no other active player has over 80 PAs and an OBP over .350 in any other slot in the order). Recall the discussion yesterday or Thursday about how #4 tends to leadoff the second most innings of any position in the order. That's when those BB are valuable.

The case for not batting Flores #4 is that he seems to have hit best the lower in the order he's hit. They tried him in 5 games as #4, and he had 2 hits. He's hit better at #6 than #5, the two spots he's gotten most of his ABs. He's hit ridiculously well at 7,8 & 9 (.362 AVG). You can guess that maybe Manny will try Flores at #4 occasionally the rest of the season, but so far he may feel he presses too much.

You could make a case for giving Belliard a shot in this lineup, too, although he has not hit #4 much in his career. I think Manny probably views AK as a "regular" and wants a regular in the #4 slot.

LMillz? I love the guy, but, like Flores, has hit better outside the 3/4 spots. Milledge / Flores at 5 & 6 has gone well recently, so maybe don't mess for while.

Posted by: PTBNL | August 9, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I didnt bring the hostility to the table!!

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | August 9, 2008 7:37 PM

Posted by: irony of the day award | August 9, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

My boy Aaron is beginning his rehab assignment. they better not bring him back and put a kid back in AAA

Posted by: Daniel Boone | August 9, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

well, about the only good thing about tonight's game was that sheets is on my fantasy basbeall team.

Posted by: rx985 | August 9, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

It's looking like the Reds and Rockies were mirage bb teams. The real thing seems to reside in the cheese state. Perhaps now that CC & Big Ben are done the Nats can earn a split. Here's to hoping we might see a run or two or three tomorrow (Sunday).

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | August 9, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Chico, this is a GREAT sentence:

"Ben Sheets, high water to Sabathia's hell,...:

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this team is built around dingers. (ok, that was an understatement...) I think Kearns does fine. .295 since he came back is not too shabby. Who cares about home runs?

Posted by: SF Fan | August 10, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I am just dumb to the ways of baseball. I used to think that the #4 slot was a position that you would use to drive in runners who had reached base ahead of you. Kearns has been a complete failure at that position by the one statistic that matters the most: RBI. For all of you that point to his improving OBP as a justification for him remaining in the lineup I will put this fact out as the final argument. He has ONE RBI in the last 18 games! Can anyone defend this--one RBI from the cleanup position? Use whatever crazy math you want but it seems that he is least productive when you really need him. He saves his singles up the middle and short flares for times when the runners are not on base. Perhaps he should be a #8 hitter. By comparison for the same games Willie Harris and Flores both have 11 RBIs and Milledge has 9. The recent spurt of victories has been fueled by the other players in the lineup, Kearns has just been along for the ride.

Posted by: Dale | August 10, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I am perplexed why all the so called experts feel Kearns is one of the Nats core players. I will grant you that he is slowly improving his average. However at the same time he has contributed little to the team's modest success of late. I can not remember when he last hit with runners in scoring position. I think he bats 4th because there is simply no one else on the team to slot in there. i think if Dukes was available he would be the logical choice. In his absence Manny is using Kearns. I really think Kearns is playing himself off the team. I also think he would love to be traded back to Reds. He never wanted to come here and it shows. He might have power for a small ballpark but not for places like Washington. He is a complete mess at the pate. On should not forget that he was demoted AAA several times during his career with the Reds. We somehow convinced ourselves that this guy was an All Star when we got him which is sadly not the case.

Posted by: mjames | August 10, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, I was trying to search the archives to find the thread where somebody complained about Kearns getting a free pass (eh, not really) from those who comment on the blog, but it appears that comments may have disappeared from the archives with the recent upgrade. A pity, if so.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 10, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Other than comments for recent threads, that is.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 10, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who wants a possible explanation of Manny's thinking should make an effort to remember that this is not the Boston Red Sox, it's a rebuilding team.

Look at the lineup again:

Bonifacio - 4 - permanent position
Guzman - 6 - permanent position
Zimmerman - 5 - permanent position
Kearns - 9
Milledge - 8 - permanent position
Flores - 2 - - permanent position
Belliard - 3
Harris - 7
Redding - 1

That leaves Kearns, Belliard, and Harris batting where no one expects them to in 2009, if they're even here. Which one of them do you want to bat fourth?


Belliard's been slumping and isn't really a power guy anyway.

Harris is too valuable both for keeping the pitcher from being the last out and for driving in Milledge and Flores.

Kearns is swinging a hot bat since his return and should see better pitches with Milledge behind him, why not see if all those doubles and homers come in a good situation? Might as well.

Batting order is an important factor in what sorts of pitches you see. Why would you screw with the heads of young hitters every night by shuffling them around to sub in that spot that they will never, ever occupy on the team just for some short term gain? The adjustments they have to make in just one position of the order are enough to keep them busy learning how to be major leaguers.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 10, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

um... belliard hasn't been slumping.

august:
avg/obp/slg/ops
500/500/750/1.250

july:
239/341/451/792

june:
236/354/527/881

i wish more of our players would slump like that. 881/792/1250 ops over the last three months, 806 OPS for the season. he's slumped in batting average, but nothing else.

Posted by: 231 | August 10, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

506,

Your explanations for batting Kearns 4th can be turned around to argue against batting him 4th.

"Belliard has been slumping and is not a power guy anyway." Belliard has a higher slugging percentage than Kearns. Compare .459 to .311!

"Harris is too valuable both for keeping the pitcher from being the last out and for driving in Milledge and Flores." Harris has outhit Kearns in every category and can steal as well. If the argument is based solely on the number 4 hitter leads off innings then Harris trumps Kearns, if the argument is the number 4 hitter needs power, Harris trumps Kearns. If someone is needed to keep the pitcher from being the last out of the inning then Kearns' horrid slugging percentage would make him the perfect #8! Kearns is not going steal too many bases. Let the pitcher sacrafice him into scoring position.

Kearns is swinging a "hot bat"? There are precious few extra base hits from him, just singles up the middle or flares. Gonzales had a hotter bat with sharper hits and deeper outs. BTW, I believe that Kearns has but one SF for the entire year--kind of the definition of a choker. I could not find the RISP stats for Kearns, but I would be willing to bet that it is far down on the list of Nats's batters.

How many RBI's would you expect from the number 4 hitter? If one of the first 3 hitters gets on base Flores or Milledge has a much better chance of getting him home than AK.

Batting AK fourth is wishful thinking on the part of Manny. It is surprising to me that a manager that justifies his lineup and tactics by percentages manages this position by intuition.

"Batting order is an important factor in what sorts of pitches you see. Why would you screw with the heads of young hitters every night by shuffling them around to sub in that spot that they will never, ever occupy on the team just for some short term gain? The adjustments they have to make in just one position of the order are enough to keep them busy learning how to be major leaguers."

This is 2008, we don't have Dukes or a legitimate 40 home run hitter. But what we do have are about 50 odd games left to be played. I would rather we put a lineup on the field that gives us the best chance of winning. If you are inferring that batting Flores or Milledge fourth is going to spoil their progress as hitters this is a specious argument. Kearns at the 4th spot with his feeble rbi production reduces the chances of winning. I believe that losing will retard the progress of our hitters. Note how lively the team is when we get good and timely hits. Clutch hitting does more good for all the hitters in the lineup and demoralizes the opposing pitchers. Put the clutch hitters in the spot where they are the most effective.

Posted by: Dale | August 10, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

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