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Updates: Nationals at Astros

I'll provide periodic updates. ...

2:45: Jason Marquis, the Nationals' projected No. 2 starter, lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs, eight hits and four walks while striking out one. The Nationals trail, 9-2, after closer Matt Capps allowed a run in the fifth. Josh Willingham hit a home run for the Nationals, who trail 9-2.

1:33: Jason Marquis allowed five runs on four hits in the first inning and the Nationals trail, 5-0. Chris Johnson hit a three-run double, and Marquis walked two batters.

1:17: Oh, right, there's a baseball game today. Adam Dunn said he was going to "give it a whirl" today at first base and that his back felt much better than yesterday. He also took batting practice and worked on grounders with Jim Riggleman at first base. But when his spot came up in the top of the first, Chris Duncan came to the plate instead (and struck out). Dunn is fine and was held out as a precaution, according to a team spokesman. Willy Taveras led off with a single, but the Nationals could not score. 0-0.

Here are the lineups

1. Willy Taveras, RF
2. Cristian Guzman, SS
3. Justin Maxwell, CF
4. Adam Dunn Chris Duncan, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Danny Espinosa, 2B
7. Eric Bruntlett, 3B
8. Wil Nieves, C
9. Jason Marquis, SP

1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Kaz Matsui, 2B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Carlos Lee, LF
5. Chris Shelton, 1B
6. Chris Johnson, 3B
7. Tommy Manzella, SS
8. Humberto Quintero, C
9. Wandy Rodriguez, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 17, 2010; 1:12 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Elijah Dukes released (updated)
Next: Adam Dunn misses game because of back stiffness


Willy Taveras in RF...uh oh, I think I just saw a glimpse of Opening Day.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 17, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Glad Marquis isn't wasting his good stuff in spring training...

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

How many runs has Marquis allowed so far in ST now...?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 17, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

now it's 8-2 (solo HRs by Willingham and Tavares), and somehow, Marquis is still pitching. Stretching him out, I guess you could call it. Hey, if not for the 5-run first they'd be right in this thing.

And if not for taking all those punches, Jerry Quarry would have been right in there with Muhammed Ali.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 17, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

JJ, I think I heard Rizzo say they don't keep score in spring training.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 17, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John: That'd be 13 ER in 5.1 IP. I wasn't a math major, but I'm pretty sure that's bad.

Posted by: Bethesdangit | March 17, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

so 13/16 * 27 = 22.378

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

it ain't good.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

My season tix just arrived. Wuh-hoo! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 17, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

just heard dukes got released. whyyyyyyyyyyy?? everyone always wanted to give up on him. I didn't understand why. I wouldn't give up on him cuz i do think he's very talented. i dont get why... sooooo the wrong move. ugh.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 17, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I forgot Willy T was even on the club. Lets hope it is not him. I think we have our outfielder of the future. The problem is he won't be ready til Aug-Sept maybe next year. His name Bryce Harper!!!

Your 2011 Nats Starters:
1. Stephen Strasburg
2. Jordan Zimmermann
3. Chien-Mien Wang
4. John Lannan
5. Aaron Thompson

The Field:
Catcher- D. Norris
1st- A Dunn
2nd- D Espinosa
SS- I Desmond
3rd- R Zimmerman
RF - B Harper
CF N Morgan
LF- in my wet dreams C. Crawford but in realty R Bernadina

Posted by: hansenjo | March 17, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@rachel: See previous thread:

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 17, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

What a crap team and a crap front office. We cut, potentially, our best player (Certainly our top performer in 2008)... if Tavares makes as much as one start this year, I'm becoming an Orioles fan. I swear.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | March 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

My Red-headed Cubs-fan Wife has a theory about Dukes release, based on Rizzo's comments:

HER: maybe he was making fart jokes in teh locker room
HER: some ppl don't like them you know

Posted by: Section506 | March 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The problem is he won't be ready til Aug-Sept maybe next year. His name Bryce Harper!!!

Posted by: hansenjo | March 17, 2010 3:05 PM

Yes, by all means wait till next August, when he'll be a worldly 18 years old!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I laugh at every fart joke I hear.
As for Dukes, I have also heard it said that "potential is a French word that means you're not worth a damn yet." And honestly, in all the time Dukes has been in Washington, I have seen little if any progression or growth from him as a baseball player. So while we can all agree potential is something Dukes has ... at some point it goes from being potential to being an albatross as you wait for development. That point comes sooner when you are viewed in the clubhouse and in the front office as Dukes is apparently viewed.
So, I will trust Rizzo on this move.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | March 17, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I can see why you married her, 506.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse


Let's not kid ourselves here. I love Dukes, but he hasn't "grown" in two years. Every pitcher in the league knows he can't hit a curveball and Dukes has never figured out how to layoff one. It's that simple - he was going to be a liability and probably hitting eighth in the lineup. Throw in mediocre defense and the case is settled. Can anyone say that you want a mediocre fielding, #8 hitter who can't layoff a curveball as your everyday right fielder? All talk of potential aside, I don't want that.

I feel bad for the guy personally, but I think the team will be better in the long run.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 17, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to add "oft-injured".

Posted by: MBUSA | March 17, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The only disappointing thing about Dukes is he didn't go on the same bus that took Milledge outta here. This is a great move and, really, a kind one by Rizzo. Cutting Dukes now gives him a chance to find another team before rosters are set.

Class move, Rizzo... maybe more than the kid deserved, but the kind of move that tells other ball players the kind of organization the Nats are becoming. Like Guardado and Villone, Dukes was treated with a modicum of respect here. It may be a subtle gesture but it will reap benefits over time...

Posted by: outsider6 | March 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

You know what angers me MBUSA? This:

"Jason Marquis, the Nationals' projected No. 2 starter, lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs, eight hits and four walks while striking out one."

You want to talk about a liability our pitching is the gosh-darn liability. Dukes may not have ever panned out to be more than he was, and what he was was no more than a good backup.

But it looks a lot better than what our pitchers have been doing and a lot better than Maxwell or Bernadina. A randomly spiteful GM is not a comforting thought.

Of course, I won't mention this again if we're 53-27 at the All Star break. It's the nature of Spring Training, I guess.

Posted by: Section506 | March 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I shoulda been a farmer.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | March 17, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Villone has been let go too? I missed that.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 17, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Patty... the released Villone Monday (

506: Give the pitching time... I think we're going to see a dramatic improvement in both the rotation and the bullpen this year. So having a Bernadina or a Maxwell alongside Morgan can only be helpful.

Posted by: outsider6 | March 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

- Of course, I won't mention this again if we're 53-27 at the All Star break.

Is the all star break in mid-June this year? :P

Posted by: RickFelt | March 17, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Section 5: I gave up on our pitching years ago. I suspect Marquis may end up being the odd man out once Wang and Strasburg are both ready. I just pray he doesn't blow up so much this year that no one wants him and has enough trade value a contender will throw us a couple of prospects for him.

The post-All-Star rotation should be: Lannan, Wang, Strasburg, Mock, Detwiler. With Martin sitting in Syracuse in case someone gets a blister.

I actually worry more about Livan than Marquis. In a worst case scenario, I think he gets DFA'd in May after he blows up three games in a row (What I refer to as "pulling a Daniel Cabrera") and has an ERA of 7.50.

Of course I pray I'm wrong on both counts.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 17, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I am willing to give a proven commodity like Marquis the benefit of the doubt when it comes to bad outings. Give him time and he will pull it together.

Posted by: Tom8 | March 17, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Pitching is supposed to be ahead of hitting in spring. You expect some deviation, but not as much as we've been seeing. A lot of folks being shelled are not and never were part of the likely starters.

But a proven commodity like Marquis needs to be performing better. He's "proven" for a reason.

Posted by: Section506 | March 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Re Dukes, quoted from the 4-letter-network story:
"I was pretty surprised," Maxwell said. "I had no idea. I saw him this morning eating breakfast. I never had any problems with Elijah. But in terms of the team standpoint, I guess there were other things being said and done and some of it was a distraction to us. I think we'll be better for it, and I just wish him luck in the future."

What were the "other things being said and done" that were a distraction? There is more to this story.....

Posted by: bluejeener1 | March 17, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Who knows what constitutes a "bad outing" in ST? Marquis may have been focused on one particular pitch today, the wind could have been blowing all over the place, or Marquis may not have built his arm strength yet...

Anyway, come late May, early June, this rotation might be awfully strong!

Who cares about ST?

Posted by: outsider6 | March 17, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Would some1 please tell me again how we addressed starting and relief pitching in the offseason?

Posted by: dovelevine | March 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

A proven commodity like Derek Lowe no-hit the Nats two days ago...

I'm going to give them a benefit of the doubt too. It can't possibly be any worse than last April...

Posted by: MBUSA | March 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow i guess this game really went down hill at the 2:45 mark. Couldn't even follow up with any updates?

Posted by: Stu27 | March 17, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: hats4bats | March 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

What the season schedule ? Where I do get one for keep at home ?

Posted by: marcy20046 | March 17, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

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