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Lineups From Nats Park

Interesting lineup for the Nats. Wil Nieves returns from a hammy pull. Elijah Dukes bats second for the first time since early May. Josh Willingham, average down to .265, gets a day on the bench. Mike Morse starts for the third straight game in a third different position.

New York

Pagan - 7
Castillo - 4
Wright - 5
Beltran - 8
Murphy - 3
Francoeur - 9
Schneider - 2
Valdez - 6
Pelfrey - 1


Harris - 8
Dukes - 9
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 3
Morse - 7
Orr - 4
Desmond - 6
Nieves - 2
Martin - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  September 29, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
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It seems like Dukes has improved himself enough to make a decent #2 guy? Hasn't he reduced the strike outs and increased the walks? Has speed and power and he can field?

Morse may bring a bigger bat to the table than Willingham? Maybe another 'Rizzo steal'?

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Morse may offer more protection for Dunn right now, who is being pitched around due to Willingham's unfortunate fall off in production. This lineup could help Adam make it to 40 HRs for the season.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | September 29, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

orr's in the lineup? somebody's gonna be unhappy.

Posted by: surly_w | September 29, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Orr's playing time and place in Riggle's lineups has recently dropped to what seems to an appropriate level. Desmond is at short where he belongs to evaluate him. Morse's bat is in the lineup. You lose Guzman and Gonzo but we they know enough about those guys. JD Martin is pitching ... what's not to like?

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman's specialty seems to be to move people around so no one gets comfortable playing a position, and therefore develops the potential to become productive on a daily basis. Why bother finding out what you've got when you can play musical chairs?

(Zimmerman and Dunn excepted)

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 29, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

(Zimmerman, Guzman, Bard, Nieves, Dukes, Willingham and Dunn excepted)?

Posted by: periculum | September 29, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

And Morgan. He's never played CF consistently, but Riggs played him CF only. Of course, if he didn't, he'd have gotten shot, tarred, feathered, and THEN strung up.

Posted by: swang30 | September 29, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Before some of us get too carried away with Morse, he strikes me as a taller version of Kory Casto - can play the corners in the IF & OF, relatively soft hands defensively, but has a higher OBP.

He's a good bench player who is squaring up on pitches in the zone right now; He'll be back on the bench after his next 0-fer.

Posted by: BinM | September 29, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one whose main focus now is whether Dunn gets to 40? Otherwise it's time to put this season to pasture and take a break. It's been a long long long long year. Okay --- maybe Zimmerman gets Gold Glove. Two things...

Posted by: nattydread1 | September 29, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@JohnRDC: RZim & Guzman are the only position "locks" this year; Dunn only became the regular 1B after NJohnson got traded - he spent the 1st half of the season "on patrol" in either LF or RF, dredging up memories of WMP in the field, remember?

Posted by: BinM | September 29, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Am I the only one whose main focus now is whether Dunn gets to 40? "

I feel like Adam Dunn is at least one other person here. Those ain't opposite field swings he's taking.

Can you blame him?

Posted by: Section506 | September 29, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Psst, 506: that's how he bats*. Pass it on.

(Except with a man on second and two down. Then he sometimes tries to go up the middle.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | September 29, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

which would be another reason to move him to 3rd, and Zim cleanup--maybe one more AB a game, and possibly more fastballs with Zim going fairly well.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 29, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

although, you'd think he'd want curveballs, on the chance they'll hang one. He's not going so good, he needs mistakes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 29, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose they'll get Valentine, but the idea of another "colorful" personality in the clubhouse doesn't seem all bad, to me. Give Nyjer someone to play off of. Bring out Dukes' Inner Softball Girl.
Hey, what's Yogi Berra doing, besides insurance commercials?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 29, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3: Valentine as MGR would be something that the Danny would do, if he owned the Nationals - sign for headlines, not for content. I'd personally rather see the team do a thorough due diligence, settle on a half-dozen candidates & settle on the 2010 Manager sometime before the Winter Meetings.

Regardless of who the Manager is, I personally think that some of the coaching staff (Eckstein & Listach in particular) deserve a return gig for 2010.

Posted by: BinM | September 29, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I am soooo happy Martin got out his his train wreck of a first inning, things were looking bad in Natstown tonight. But he pulled through, so good job.

72-90 in 2010, you can do it!!!!

Posted by: oneleggedNatsFan | September 29, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: BinM | September 29, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I know, newposted, but ... BinM, of course, you're assuming the managerial choice will matter for more than entertainment value.
You could be right, I suppose. Anything's possible.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 29, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Well I've been ripping both MacDougal and Dukes pretty hard lately but kudos to both for pulling this one out. Mac has saved back2back one run games without walking anyone. Throwing 96-97 MPH at 32 is impressive, just keep it close to the zone Mac and you might be our closer.

Posted by: SackMan | September 29, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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