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Tonight's Lineups

I'll add the St. Louis lineup once I get it.

Washington

Morgan - 8
Guzman - 6
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 7
Johnson - 3
Willingham - 9
Gonzalez - 4
Bard - 2
Balester - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  July 23, 2009; 3:21 PM ET
 
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Next: Olsen's Surgery Is A Success, And Other Notes

Comments

Balester: Avoid walking batters. Thanks.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

What "i hate walks" said.

And if you could, please no HBP or WP's. Thank you.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Picking up on another topic:

1a ... have you tried the Gifford's milkshake at the stadium?

There's a line in Pulp Fiction where the guy asks for a taste of the girl's milkshake, "because I've just gotta know what a fi'-dolla milkshake tastes like."

Well, this one is at least $3 better than that. Worth every stadium-inflated cent they charge. Especially on a hot, muggy, day. Oh man, I'm salivating. Too bad I'm not going to the park tonight (tomorrow, though!)

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I hear on MLBTR.com that the Cardinals might be interested in Josh Willingham. I hope we don't trade Hammer, he might be the 2nd best all around player (after Zimmerman), big bat, passable defense in the outfield - his OPS is over .900 and we have him under control for 2 more years - no way we get equal value back on him in trade.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

If Balester can just give the team six servicible innings (4 runs or fewer), I'm good.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

IHW, even Pujols? I'd rather see him walk than do a moonshot.

Thanks for the tip on the milkshake, which I haven't tried. I do like the batting helmet sundaes, though. Also the gelato. The Dinger, eh.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

at least the "showcase" ronnie belliard experience is taking a night off. geez, could there be an act of desperation more desperate than starting tubby2B two nights in a row as he hits .191?! NO ONE IS GOING TO TRADE FOR HIM.

Posted by: cdstej | July 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Bard again? I think that both catchers are swinging a hot bat, but Bard is still nursing a groin injury. Alternate catchers at least.

Posted by: ilovethenats | July 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I second ihatewalks's recommendation of the Gifford's milkshake. It really is that good. Thank goodness they don't have nutritional information or anything posted, because I really, truly don't want to know.

Posted by: Section220 | July 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I think we should trade Nick Johnson and Guzman if at all possible, take a look at the above line-up and feel for poor Balester...now imagine those two gone for prospects and this is your line-up;

1. Morgan
2. Dukes
3. Zimmerman
4. Dunn
5. Willingham
6. Bard
7. Gonzalez
8. Hernandez (maybe a platoon with Willie?)
9. Balester

Dramatically improved defense, especially in the outfield and up the middle (only a slight drop from this year's NJ to Adam Dunn at 1B) and very little loss in offensive capability, maybe better getting Dukes, Willingham and Dunn in the order at the same time.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I also think if we're going to be seeing Mock, Balester and Martin for any length of time we should DFA Ronnie Belliard and add an 8th reliever.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The A's are rumored to be getting Brett Wallace from the Cards for 2-3 months of Holliday. They would have 2+ years of Willingham... But I still doubt we could get Wallace for Willingham.

FYI, Beurhle is perfect through 8.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 23, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@estuart: I agree, losing the Hammer would make this team a little less fun to watch (or listen to). But if StL offered a 1B or MI prospect from AAA, and a AA/hi-A level RP prospect, I think Rizzo might listen.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Dear Bally Star- Welcome to the big leagues. You have the privilege of facing the most dominant hitter in the game. Have fun!

Sincerely,

Stan K

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 23, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that if it did happen you would see this:

1. Morgan
2. Morse
3. Dukes
4. Dunn
5. Zimmerman
6. Willingham
7. Bard
8. Gonzalez
9. Balester

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Cards need a 1st baseman (see Pujols, most dominant hitter in baseball).

The two rumored players to be traded are:
Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham.

Maybe we'll see after tonight's game?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I would love to see Morse up to replace Belliard, but to jump from AAA to starting for us? I think if they don't want Hernandez to be the starting 2B man for this season then I'd go with Willie Harris (or a platoon) before I'd give it (and the #2 slot) to Morse.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

NNR:

PERFECT GAME in Chi-Town.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 23, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

So, is Mike Morse the new J.D. Martin? There appears to be a simple explanation why he can't find a spot in the bigs. He can't field. We've already got enough of those guys, we don't need more. We actually should get the NL to pass the DH rule; we're ready for that.

I actually think Bos had a good suggestion today, trying Guzman at 2B. With his declining range, it makes sense, and you might have some decent SS options in house (Gonzalez now, Desmond next year, Espinosa in a couple of years).

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I would love to see Morse up to replace Belliard, but to jump from AAA to starting for us? I think if they don't want Hernandez to be the starting 2B man for this season then I'd go with Willie Harris (or a platoon) before I'd give it (and the #2 slot) to Morse.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Mr. P envisions Morse starting at 1B in that lineup. Can he hit MLB pitching, though...

Posted by: cdstej | July 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Great, really great catch by Wise to preserve Buerhle's perfect game.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Mr. P envisions Morse starting at 1B in that lineup. Can he hit MLB pitching, though...

Posted by: cdstej | July 23, 2009 4:19 PM

Not with Morgan, Dukes, Willingham and Dunn in there. He had him at 2B.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@estuart & periculum: Any trade triggers a sring of events - If player x leaves the Nationals, what is gained in return?
If Willingham were moved to the Cards, what player(s) come to the Nationals? If NJohnson were moved to either the Rangers/Giants/Mets, again, what player(s) come to the Nationals? How or where do the new players fit? Trades aren't made in a vacuum.

Every trade can send a series of moves throughout the orginization - A GM at this point of the season should also be a good chess player, because he always has to be thinking two or moves ahead.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"I suspect Mr. P envisions Morse starting at 1B in that lineup. Can he hit MLB pitching, though...

Posted by: cdstej | July 23, 2009"

No, Dunn at 1st, Morse at second. I don't know if he can hit MLB pitching ... but as of last night he was hitting .383 at Syracuse with 2 HR, 2 SB. Overall this year in AAA he has hit .327 with 11 home runs.

Seems like he's better than what we have now, probably a better fielder than Bynum.

He plays every position in the infield except short and can do the outfield.


Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Morse could become the 2010 version of Harris/Belliard/Casto - a player capable of filling in at multiple spots, but not an every-day kind of player.

Also, with Hernandez seemingly in Riggleman's "doghouse", I wouldn't be suprised to see him moved as a "throw-in" in an upcoming trade.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So here is what the kiddie corps could look like in terms of non-pitching positional players if trades were made?

C Bard/Nieves (catching prospects not ready).
1B Adam Dunn or Nick Johnson(one is traded?)/Morse
2B Morse, Hernandez, Bynum, Belliard? Harris?
SS (Guzman traded?) Gonzalez,
Hernandez, Ian Desmond
3B Zimmerman Morse Belliard? Harris?
LF (Willingham traded?) Harris?, Kearns Dukes Padilla? Maxwell, Morse
CF Morgan Harris? Dukes Maxwell
RF Dukes Harris? Kearns Padilla? Maxwell Morse

Its possible that guys like Harris may go in trades. Belliard might end up on the bench watching the younger guys get a shot?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Trades aren't made in a vacuum."

The Cardinals appear backed up at the closer position. I think that is what they will likely go for. He looks good in AAA Memphis?

Like to see them get some left-handed pitching as well?

Other than that ... probably prospects to send down to repopulate the minors?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW, periculum, that's not exactly a "kiddie corps." Bard, Nieves, Dunn, Johnson, Morse, Bynum, Belliard, Harris, Kearns and Padilla are all 27 or older. This team needs good, young everyday talent. Yet another reason to go the "blow it up" route. They're not very good and they're not that young.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

BTW, periculum, that's not exactly a "kiddie corps." Bard, Nieves, Dunn, Johnson, Morse, Bynum, Belliard, Harris, Kearns and Padilla are all 27 or older. This team needs good, young everyday talent. Yet another reason to go the "blow it up" route. They're not very good and they're not that young.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009
_________________________________________________

Yes, I guess that's true.

Morse born in 1982 is on the cusp I guess?

Desmond, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Maxwell, Dukes ...
would fit ...

The Cards do have players that might lower the age somewhat in Syracuse and Harrisburg. Too many Nats prospects are playing "A" ball still.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Hope you're sitting down, periculum, because I almost totally agree with you. We need to lower the age in Syracuse and Harrisburg but in DC, too. I'm hoping whatever guys they get are playing in AA and AAA for other teams but ready to play AAA and the big leagues for us.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 23, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish they'd just make a deal. It's not like Johnson, Dunn and Willigham are getting more valuable!

Posted by: soundbloke | July 23, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Hello, folks. Is anyne going to the game tpnite?

Posted by: Ringle | July 23, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay, IHW and sec220, you have me convinced.

Buerhle made it despite dclifer's heads up. ;-) Saw a replay of the top of the 9th on MLB Network, as well as analysis by Victor Rojas, Barry Larkin, and Dave Valle. Love MLB Network! The catch, and subsequent juggling act, were interesting.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Hawk Harrelson's call reminded me of that scene in "When Harry Met Sally." I'll have what he's having.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"I'm hoping whatever guys they get are playing in AA and AAA for other teams but ready to play AAA and the big leagues for us."

The closer the Cards have in Memphis (22 saves under 1.0 WHIP) looks to fit your criteria. Born in 1986. If the Bowden curse holds true he will end up being another Hanrahan or Hinckley. However, this is the Cards were talking about ... this guy probably is legit, just can't knock out the current closer.

Just kind of wish he was left-handed.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'd assumed that it was Pierzynski behind the dish but it was Ramon Castro, who had never caught Buerhle before, other than in the bullpen. Pretty wild. Okay, I'm done now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Willy Harris wouldn't have almost dropped it. Okay, now I am done. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico needs to stop writing for this dead tree, he is forsaking his blog updating.
Pete McElroy on masnsports.com has the cards line up (no Pujols) and news that Scott Olsen's surgery was a success. Rizzo says he will be ready for spring training.

Cardinals:

Schumaker - 2B
Rasmus - CF
DeRosa - 1B
Ludwick - RF
Ankiel - LF
Molina - C
Thurston - 3B
Ryan - SS
Wainwright - P

Posted by: wrw0601 | July 23, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow. No Pujols. Balester's a lucky fellow.

Posted by: Section220 | July 23, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@periculum: So you're asking price to StL for Willingham would be Josh Kerr(23), a 2nd round pick in 2007, who has all-starred twice & appeared in the Futures game, plus a LH? Good luck with that! I can hear the Cardinals FO giggling across the Mississippi.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats win this game I suspect a trade may ensue.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they are holding Pujols out so that he can move his things over to the Nats clubhouse. I think Ken Rosenthal was reporting that Pujols would be traded for Austin Kearns before the end of the week.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"@periculum: So you're asking price to StL for Willingham would be Josh Kerr(23), a 2nd round pick in 2007, who has all-starred twice & appeared in the Futures game, plus a LH? Good luck with that! I can hear the Cardinals FO giggling across the Mississippi.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009"

Actually I head its Adam Dunn (that's what the St. Louis paper is reporting) and not Willingham. And they may end up with Jess Todd the closer for the Memphis Redbirds.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Dunn and Pujols ... pretty scary.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

wrw: It is beneath Pujols to play in a single-game set against the like of the Nationals - he's probably on his way to PHI. (Hooray for being less-than-average).

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

@ihw: Is that the Gifford's on the lower deck just past the escalator as you enter from the centerfield gate? I'm going out with my teenage daughter tomorrow night and a milkshake might just hit the spot. What flavors do you recommend?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 23, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Albert is afraid of trains and needed to fly to Philly tonight.
_________________
wrw: It is beneath Pujols to play in a single-game set against the like of the Nationals - he's probably on his way to PHI. (Hooray for being less-than-average).


Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 5:56 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@periculum: What else are the Cards asking for, besides Dunn, for Todd?

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I laughed out loud, lowcountry.

---

Maybe they are holding Pujols out so that he can move his things over to the Nats clubhouse. I think Ken Rosenthal was reporting that Pujols would be traded for Austin Kearns before the end of the week.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2009 5:52 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

(No offense, Austin.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Any truth that Bally did a backflip when he saw the pooholeless card lineup?

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 23, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and I heard that there were high fives all around after that, coked.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 23, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"@periculum: What else are the Cards asking for, besides Dunn, for Todd?

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009"

Good question? A package of players from both teams? This is Rizzo's last chance, after this I would guess he has to focus most of his energy on signing Strasburg?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure its all the funny natsfan1a1.

Pujols we know isn't going anywhere ... its interesting that he was benched and DeRosa put in at 1st base. Not sure I like where that might lead as far as trade scenarios.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

benched == benched for this particular game.

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

can someone please give periculum his own blog so he can express his undying fealty to the syracuse chiefs? morse may be a lietime .300 hitter with a .365 OBP but defensively he can't catch a bus standing at a corner. the mariners had to move him off short after making 12 errors in 57 games (50 starts).

Posted by: surly_w | July 23, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

OBTW...new post.

Posted by: surly_w | July 23, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"morse may be a lietime .300 hitter with a .365 OBP but defensively he can't catch a bus standing at a corner. the mariners had to move him off short after making 12 errors in 57 games (50 starts)."

They are not playing him at short stop surly_w ...

And on the other hand? Perhaps people with negative attitudes about players and the team should have their own "surly" blog to spew forth bile on?

Posted by: periculum | July 23, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

That's it, lowcountry: The entire Nationals 25-man active roster for Pujols. Brilliant!!
The Cardinals have to release around 20 of them (say they keep Dunn, Lannan & RZim, & stash Stammen, Burnett & Morgan in the minors).
The Nationals then just bulk promote teams up one level, and backfill off of the StL waiver list.
I've just taken Bowdonist logic to its extreme - Amazing & stupid at the same instant.

Posted by: BinM | July 23, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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