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Reading, Lineups

Two choices for the morning. If you have a strong stomach, you can read up on yesterday's game. Thanks to Amy Shipley, here on sidebar duty, you can also read about Lastings Milledge's early-season struggles.

If you're more interested in starting anew, here is this afternoon's lineup. First pitch, 12:10 p.m. (Sorry, I haven't gotten my hands on Florida's starting nine. But take note, the Nats have a look that will probably delight some posters here.)


Guzman - 6
Dukes - 8
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 3
Willingham - 7
Kearns - 9
Harris - 4
Nieves - 2
Cabrera - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  April 8, 2009; 9:42 AM ET
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Newposted: BobL, I posted the following yesterday in connection with Kasten's pathetic pandering to Philly fans. In my view, it's worse than just the honeymoon being over; it's more like a trial separation:

It is amazing to think about how much goodwill the Lerners and Kasten have squandered since they took over the team in '06. Hopefully, they can turn things around. But regaining goodwill is a lot harder than building on it. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
* * * * *
Would it be safe to say the Nats honeymoon in Washington is over?

Posted by: BobLHead | April 8, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hooray!! Dukes and Willingham!! Our saviors!!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 8, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Well -- the outfield defense might be improved. Dunn, at 1B, doesn't inspire confidence, though. I suppose they have to find out if he can play the position...

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Interesting story if a Nats fan? New Arizona Summer League announced, starts July 1 with four teams, one of which will be managed by Rusty Meacham (10-4, 2.70 in 1992), our pitching coach at Lake Monsters in Vermont.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 8, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Interesting lineup. I wouldn't have pegged Dukes as a guy hitting 2nd in a lineup, especially with Harris in there too. I'm interested to see what this lineup does, especially considering that Cabrera is more than likely going to give up a few runs.

Posted by: vash462 | April 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I second the thanks to the Miami contingent for their comments.

Re. CiL's reference to the Kasten Philly comments, you can read all about it in yesterday's Bog post if you missed it.

Speaking of posts, there's a new one here as well.


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 8, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Zimm throwing to Dunn has the potential to be oh so very very scary.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks a lot, soundbloke. whimper... ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 8, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see the changes -- whatever the outcome, it sends the right message.

I wouldn't worry about whether Dukes is batting second or somewhere else. There is a growing body of statistical/simulation evidence to suggest that minor adjustments to the batting order don't produce significant differences in run production over the course of a season.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How about over the course of a 3-game series?

Posted by: BoteMan | April 8, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Acta is safe for another day, at least in the minds of many fans. Wish he'd make it permanent and put Zimm in the 5 spot.

Posted by: tmp2234 | April 8, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I will be most interested to see how Dukes does in CF defensively... we really can not give up a ton of runs with defensive mistakes with a young SP staff...

Posted by: rumbly45 | April 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Unless Dukes plays worse than Milledge has, keep Milledge at the end of the bench for now please.

hell, work out Kearns in CF during practice, if you really don't wanna play Dukes.

Posted by: MrMadison | April 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

if Dukes is competent in CF, Milledge should ride pine until he gets a clue.

Posted by: MrMadison | April 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't think Milledge should ever play CF. Either Kearns or Dukes s/b there. They have both shown themselves to be at least average defensively there. Milledge needs to be in the lineup as much as possible because he is young enough that he could still develop into an excellent hitter. But he just cannot play CF. And this isn't based on the two plays this year. It's based on all of last year. I just didn't see him improve and his results were clearly below standard.

Posted by: Avar | April 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Dunn at first base doesn't scare me today. One would have to assume Cabrera can get it over the plate so the Marlins can hit it. I have my doubts.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 8, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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