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Silver Lining to a Dreary Night

There's no way to sugarcoat the fact that the Nationals got pounded Saturday in Florida. As interim manager Jim Riggleman is quoted in Chico's online game story, "Losing by eight or nine runs when you out-hit somebody (10 to nine), that doesn't happen too often and that's just an indication of how bad we pitched."

The primary man responsible for that was Marco Estrada who was making his first major league start. Estrada failed to make it through three innings while getting touched up for five runs on three hits. But while the 26-year-old struggled mightily, a pair of even younger call-ups shined.

Justin Maxwell, known more for his glove than his bat, stroked two solo home runs for the Nats. Not to be outdone, rookie Ian Desmond continued to show why he may be in the team's opening day starting lineup in 2010, going 4 for 4 with two doubles in the loss.

Things aren't good in NatsTown but there are still positive notes, even on a rain-soaked evening in Miami.

By CJ Holley  |  September 13, 2009; 1:20 AM ET
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I just hope Maxwell can show he can hit as well as he can field. I'm not optimistic, but: Let's go, Terps (other than football, of course)

Posted by: nats24 | September 13, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I think he probably could have washed his hands between innings...
Estrada said that he struggled to get a grip on his pitches all night, in part because he picked up a wet rosin bag while on the mound.

"I actually, when I threw my bullpen, felt pretty good," Estrada said. "I went out there and just grabbed some rosin bag and had slick hands, and for some reason I just couldn't get it off. I just had that in my mind the whole time. I mean, my body felt good. I just wish that wouldn't have happened. I know I would have had better control."

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | September 13, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I've not heard that excuse before. Guess it wasn't to wet for the other guy though huh?

Posted by: cokedispatch | September 13, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Ryan Zimmerman have a similar September back in '05? And where is he now?

C'mon, Ian Desmond, show me your lackluster performance in Hawaii winter ball a couple years ago (that MASN aired) was just sn example of a late bloomer...

Posted by: Juan-John | September 13, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

CJ: Ugly is as ugly does. What a pitching roster in the box score!

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 13, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I am little worried about my man Flores hope he comes all the way back we need him i think the pitching staff has suffered in his absence,as the season winds down will Riggs be retained,the coaching staff, i am not impressed with McCatty even though the staff's ERA has been lowered not sure what it is but "Mac" has not been much better than St.Claire. Long year fellow posters Long year!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 13, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

One thing learned from last night's game - Kensing is done as a Major League pitcher, and neither Garate nor Segovia seem ready for prime time.

Riggleman wasn't far wrong with the "We must have thrown 200 pitches"; final game count was 190 for the Nationals.

Posted by: BinM | September 13, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

What a treat last night, we get to see those crafty 4A'rs implode inning after inning. Come 5 Oct please Mr. Rizzo just say no to; Kennsing, and Zach Sver...(whatever). No more cast-offs and reclaimation projects pleeeezzze!

You have plenty of starters who probably need to look at the bullpen as an alternative, yes that means Detwiller maybe even Estrada but to keep trotting out the likes of Kennsing is counter productive to my sanity.

Nothing wrong w/Desmond, Morse and Maxwell being part of the 2010 team but I'm afraid the lets take it slow approach and the penchant for sticking w/the same guys that got us here (200 L's in 2 years) is the stain that needs to be bleached out of this organization.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 13, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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