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Game 11 discussion thread

Sorry I did not create this Friday evening, but hopefully Saturday's game will give you something to discuss. Ryan Zimmerman is in the lineup, Adam Dunn is back after his ejection on Friday and the Nationals try to climb over .500 with a three-game winning streak. Livan Hernandez makes another start, too. I'll update periodically throughout the game, but discuss your thoughts in the comments below.

MIDDLE OF 2ND INNING -- Livan Hernandez allowed a double and walked two batters to create a bases-loaded, one-out jam, but he forced Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf into the 1-2-3 double play to escape the inning unscathed. Hernandez was fortunate it was the pitcher at the plate, although this is a just a tad bit more impressive considering Wolf has some pop for a pitcher. His career numbers are .181 with five home runs and 49 RBI, but he once hit two home runs in a game in 2004.

END OF 2ND INNING -- As I assume you all saw (or heard), Justin Maxwell hit a deep two-run home run to left-center field. It was just a few feet off the deepest part of the ballpark, and was Maxwell's first home run of the season. Before the game, I asked Riggleman about the opportunity Maxwell has this week with the Nationals facing a pair of left-handed pitchers. This is what Riggleman said:

"He's in there and likely will be in there tomorrow. Hopefully, he'll go out and have a good ballgame for us. He's such a special athlete, we'd like to have him on the field defensively, have him on the bases running, so hopefully he can get on base for us. He got on a couple times in Philadelphia for us, hopefully he can get on the next few days three or four times and do what he does. The thing that he does also is have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, hit some gappers and score runners who are in front of him. It's a good opportunity for him, and we hope he takes advantage of it."

By Zach Berman  |  April 17, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Riggleman talks about Capps's availability

Comments

I think the article on Matt Capps' availability explains a little bit of why Riggleman has a reputation for blowing out arms. I mean, in this situation, it's maybe ok, but for a young guy who's struggling to stay in the majors (ala Stammen last year), this is recipe for disaster.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, this technology thing is pretty great. I'm listening to Charlie and Dave from Managua, Nicaragua this afternoon (well, 11 am here) while doing "work" by the pool of a hotel. 94 degrees here - the coolest it's been all week. I've been able to catch up on a few games via Nats Journal after the games, but not live.

I didn't spring for the MLB-TV service ($120) but figured $20 for audio + gameday anywhere in the world was worth it. For weekday day games, typically I have the Gameday going in the background at work.

Does anyone have the MLB-TV service? Since I can't watch from work, I didn't think I'd use it much, but a day like today makes me wish I could purchase one game.

Go get 'em Livo!

Posted by: mo_dc | April 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@TimDz - back to Dukes again. Your premise #3 is simply a restatement of my premise #2. There is apparently no major league team that thinks Dukes can help them. Maybe because he just hasn't progressed the way he should have, maybe because he's a problem in the clubhouse, maybe it's some other reason we don't know about, maybe it's a combination of all three. But it all comes down to the same thing: For whatever reason - or combination of reasons - no team thinks he can help them win.

Posted by: gilbertbp | April 17, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice DP by Livo!

Posted by: gilbertbp | April 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Pudge!! Hated the signing at first, I'm eating my words through 11 games. And, he's even helping out my fantasy team since Miguel Montero went on the DL.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@gilbertdp -- I'm only going to post Elijah Dukes 2007 stat line one more time, if the Dukes-haters can't objectively look at them and see a 25 year old guy with a ton of potential who is being blackballed (for whatever reason), then I don't know what to say.

334 ABs, 13 Steals, 13 HRs, .264/.386/.478 with a 127 OPS +. Great arm, great speed, allt he tools to be a great defensive RF.


Way to go Maxwell! He has been awesome so far., taking a lot of pitches, drawing walks, getting on base, waiting for his pitch and blasting it.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Way to go J-Max!! RF is yours for the taking, please make it happen.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Way to go J-Max! Nice birthday present for baby Liana! I am eating my words after hating on Maxwell in the lineup posting, and happy to do so!

Glad to hear he's hopefully not thinking so much, and figured out something in Syracuse to start the year. Keep it up, and earn yourself a spot to fix our RF situation!

Posted by: mo_dc | April 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice of the Nats to play during the day today, giving us the night to focus on Caps to tie up their series!!

Posted by: mo_dc | April 17, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@Imjustlikemusiq:

Just let it go. Dukes is 2 months gone, no longer a member of the roster. No other team has taken a chance on him yet; Maybe he's being blackballed (as you say), or maybe he's just an athletic knucklehead that doesn't take advice well.
He's got a good arm, showed some power, but is he really a MLB player, both physically & mentally?

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Dukes blackballed? Hard to see that considering he hasn't shown much other than athletic ability. AS far as great speed, in 2009 3 SB and 10 CS doesn't seem too speedy or baserunning savy.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Livo seems like he's doing a good job of bearing down, once somebody gets on base; That's what makes him a great #4-5SP.

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I really like the new running game. 14 SBs already - how many did we have all last year?

Posted by: lowcountry | April 17, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

And only 1 caught stealing right? What is that, 95% or so? Silly.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Right now, Livan's looking like a good # 1 SP, never mind 4-5.

Looks totally unflappable out there.

Posted by: gilbertbp | April 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

13 straight shutout IP from Livo.

Posted by: gilbertbp | April 17, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry:

14SB, 2CS = 87.5%, with both CS on pickoff plays. I doubt that the 2009 version had this many SB after 30 games, let alone 10.

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Details of the vomiting Phillies fan. He has a nice shiner in the mug shot.

PHILADELPHIA -- A New Jersey man is facing charges after police say he intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl and her father in the stands during a Philadelphia Phillies game.

Matthew Clemmens, 21, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and related offenses for the incident at Wednesday night's Phillies-Nationals game. He was being held Friday on $36,000 bail.

Police say Clemmens made himself vomit on an off-duty police captain and one of his daughters after Clemmens' companion was kicked out of Citizens Bank Park for unruly behavior, which included cursing, spitting and spilling beer by Clemmens and a friend.

According to an account in the Philadelphia Daily News, Clemmens and his friend were asked by the 15-year-old daughter of Michael Vangelo, an off-duty Easton police captain, to stop cursing and spitting. A short while later, Vangelo said, it started again.

"One guy started spitting ... first it landed on the back of my daughter's chair. Then it landed on her hooded sweatshirt," Vangelo said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

After Vangelo reported the incident to stadium officials, Clemmens' friend was led out of the stadium. At that point, Vangelo said Clemmens said he would be sick and "put two fingers down his throat."

He then "leaned forward and started vomiting on us," Vangelo said, according to the Daily News.

"It was the most vile, disgusting thing I've ever seen. He has two fingers down his throat, he lunges forward and vomits on myself and my 11-year-old."

Vangelo said he tried to push his children safely behind him, and Clemmens punched him in the face. Four or five fans in the next section rushed to help, Vangelo said. They held him until police arrived -- someone punching Clemmens in the face as he tried to break free -- and an officer was also hit with vomit, Vanore said.

"It reminds you of the type of behavior you used to hear about at the 700 level in Veterans Stadium," Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said, according to the Daily News.

Vangelo told the Daily News he didn't hit Clemmens because "I kept thinking, 'If I get arrested, my kids will be alone here.' "

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 17, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And there's why why shouldn't look at Corey Hart as a possible RF replacement for the Nationals (Willingham's hit basically screws him into the ground on a ball over his head).

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Natmeister: And yet StanK invites these dirtbags to "come on down" two years running; Amazing, and totally driven by $$.

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is fun. Is this what it's like for the rest of the league's fans?

Maxwell having some GREAT AB's today. Livo is vintage '97.

Posted by: natinbeantown | April 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I've been enjoying catching up on the various debates through the last few threads. As far as Dukes is concerned, I believe that JMaxx's comments on the situation were the most telling. He talked about how their were certain things surrounding Dukes situation and that it would be a more united locker room now. I do not believe that Dukes himself caused chemistry problems but rather with it was the arrangement JimBo set up for Dukes. Dukes lived under different rules than everyone else on the team, these rules set up for him and not of his choosing. Therefore I believe Rizzo felt that Dukes had not performed well enough to justify continuing with this arrangement.

However the fact that no other team has even offered him a non-guaranteed minor league deal is interesting, they most know something we do not.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | April 17, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

wow. this is gonna help the Pythag record.

Posted by: natinbeantown | April 17, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah BinM; Who knew that a "classy" philly fan would "hurl" on their own kind in this case it just happened to be a police officer, $36k bond priceless and you're right can't imagine the fallout had that happened in DC probably would have started a riot.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

6-5 sure tastes sweet

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Is Livo coming back for the 9th? 107 pitches now, but it's potentially a CG shutout.

Posted by: swang30 | April 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

BinM-

RE: last year's SB totals. I was surprised to see we had 11 SBs in Mar/Apr last year (w/ 5 CS). We only had 6 in May, so you might be right about not getting 14 SBs for the first 30 games.

Posted by: natinbeantown | April 17, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Go Livo!

Posted by: swang30 | April 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

wish livo were on my fantasy team right now.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | April 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

That 3rd base snag by Zim was amazing. Dang the Nats look good right now.

Posted by: jimmyjlaw | April 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Vintage Livo today; 112 pitches, 4-hit shutout; WOW! Give him the 'silver Elvis' & come back tomarrow.

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Livan "El Caballo" Hernandez...

This is a so premature, but as long as the nats can stay healthy, they should continue to play this way all season. (just above .500 ball and play with most teams now) I hope maxwell gets some more playing time. He's got "game"

And for all of you half-steppin' nats fans and talking heads on the tele, get your cheap shots in now while you can. (go caps, but seriously...it's hockey)

Posted by: boricuabopper | April 17, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

is it just me, or have the Nats been putting up good scoring numbers so far this year? As long as the starting pitching can do it's job and go at least 6, I see really good times ahead. No, we're not winning any pennants or anything, but maybe, just maybe, over .500 is a real possibility.

Posted by: Rogueone | April 17, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Livo for Cy Young! lol. like the way the team is playing right now.

Posted by: nami322 | April 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Small sample size, but here are some numbers from the Nationals starters to date...

Weekly
totals: 4 5 2
W-L-ND 0-2-2 2-1-2 1-0-1
IP 16.0 23.3 16.0
Inn.
Played 35.0 44.0 18.0
QS 0 1 2
IP/GS 4.00 4.67 8.00
SIP/TIP 45.71% 53.02% 88.89%
ERA 9.56 7.72 1.13
WHIP 2.5000 1.8003 0.6250

Note: SIP/TIP = Starters' IP/ Total IP.

That's a positive shift, imo. We'll see what Marquis can bring to the table tomarrow.

Posted by: BinM | April 17, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@Mo_Dc You will love MLBTV. I have had it the last two years and it is great. It looks great on my monitor and when I hook it up to my TV it looks even better. The only drawback is that Saturday afternoon games are blacked out due to contactual agreements with FOX. It's money well spent.

Posted by: chris88 | April 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

As for that puking phils fan. I think he will be dealt with appropriately in jail. That is so disgusting! I have to admit I have spent a lot of time in places were large numbers of people are "over-served", but I have never seen anything like that.
What would make someone think that is a goos idea. And to a young girl. WTF?? Are you listening Stan???

Posted by: chris88 | April 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

What a great game! Sure seems to me that the fielding has improved all around. Zimm's catch at third was his usual WOW. I was really impressed with Dunn's work at first and Livan's cool composure when he helped turn the double play, sending the ball quickly home. Nice to see Maxwell doing well. Also, kudos to the fans for the standing ovation for Livan when he came up to bat in the 8th - nice, very nice.

Posted by: lostein | April 17, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Well; who knew? Livo was an after thought, during spring training we were so busy focusing on Strasburg but the wily veteran handcuffed a good hitting Brew crew,man Fielder never get's cheated on his at bat's dude crank's it up and for all the complaint's i read on this blog about Gonzalez and Guzman where would this team be without them?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 17, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chris88.

I was debating getting the MLB-TV for a couple reasons, in particular when i'm out of town for work and want to catch up on a previous game (like today's). I'd probably hook my laptop up to my TV, but on a day like today (if available) I'd be watching directly on the laptop from my hotel room.

What an effort from Livo! Magnifico! Oh, I missed the last 3 innings after an earthquake and thunderstorm here in Managua knocked out the internet!

Posted by: mo_dc | April 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Great job by Lannan and Livo to give the bullpen a break after the pummelling by the Phillies. I believe the Nat's have already exceeded their April 2009 win total of 5. It's a pleasure to watch the Nat's punish teams for their mistakes and shake off their own. They don't seem to play with the sense of impending disaster any more. Guess that's called composure.

Speaking of the Phillies -- Memo to Stan:
For the next homestand with the Phil's how about a projectile vomiting contest for attending Phillie fans -- in the visitors bullpen, of course. Just to make them feel right at home.

Posted by: Natmeister | April 17, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I talked my husband into going, and we were both glad we did. That is now officially one of my fave in-person Nats games, and I love Livo more than ever.

lostein, agree that the ovation when Livo came up to bat was great. I was trying to get a Livo chant going as well but my section didn't pick up on it. Oh well, I tried. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 17, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Nice coverage by the Post on the Nats game. Whose decision was it to focus the front page picture on empty blue seats while blurring the image of the game's star, Hernandez? After perhaps the most convincing win of the year, the Post sports editors decide the game story is empty seats. There were 18,600 at the game. The Orioles had 15,000 to watch their 11th loss. VERY poor form.

Posted by: tedhaynie | April 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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