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Game 22 discussion thread: Nationals at Cubs

Partly because of injuries, partly by design, Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman has been able to use an array of players this season, keeping bench players involved in the game.

Before the Nationals faced the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in the third of this week's three-game series, Riggleman was asked about his philosophy when it comes to getting players involved.

"I think the National League kind of creates that," Riggleman said. "In today's game you're carrying give extra players instead of six, most times. You're going to need any extra players that are sitting there feeling in this particular situation, I'm going to play defense here, I'm going to pinch hit here. The National League has the double switch, so there potential there. I think the game creates that, but I do keep track of how many games someone has sit. I don't want someone to sit too long, because we're going to call on them."

Riggleman continued: "That part, hopefully I'm in tune to the right level. I don't want to be sitting regulars too often, but there are some days when I know I've got to get some guys some playing time."

Feel free to use the comment section below as a discussion thread. I'll provide any worthwhile updates from Wrigley Field.

By Mark Viera  |  April 28, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
 
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Next: For starters, the Nationals are on the right track

Comments

Hey, theres Kennedy answering my question about why he's batting 2.d

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 28, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day nomination
________________________
Ok, Kennedy can bat 2nd.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 2:25 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | April 28, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm giving Charlie and Dave the day off today and listening to Phil Hughes and Ron Santo on WGN (of whom I grew fond while exiled to Iowa). They are hilarious.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 28, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Might be a mistake to have Nieves catching Atilano. He was in such a groove with Pudge. But I suppose he ought to be able to pitch to anyone.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I give Riggs a lot of credit for this approach and how he handles it. Keeping the reserves involved makes it more likely that they will produce when called upon. And resting the first teamers periodically is a good idea over a long season anyway. Particular with our infield and right field situations, where the choices coming out of spring training weren't all that clear, this just makes sense. I still think we need an every day solution in right field, but I like how the infield has been working. Gonzalez in particularly has been a pleasant surprise at the plate and with the glove at third.

Posted by: Section222 | April 28, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

What are all those sunglasses for anyways?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What's with MASN and the 'due up' always being one player? Do they realize there are at least 3 at bats?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman can manage a game. I like his feel for this team.

Good for Atilano for pitching past Kennedy's terrible error.

Posted by: hungrypug | April 28, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

DUNN-DERSTRUCK

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 28, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Cubs' tv announcers were just urging Dunn to bunt when he leads off an inning, on the theory that the whole infield always backs up and plays the pull to right.

One big homer deserves another.

Posted by: hungrypug | April 28, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Gotta say, Dunn looks much improved at First Base and you know the power will be there. What should the Nats do?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Nieves has 2 clutch hits this series. About as well as he can do.

And glad to see the Roger Bernadino show. There's absolutely no reason for Willy T. do be on this team. willy T. can not only not hit but he can't steal either. willy T. should be waived for Mench or Morse to be a big bat type of PH this team needs.

Posted by: hoo93 | April 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I got to give props to Atilano for pitching himself out of a jam.

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 28, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If this was last year that would have turned into a nightmare inning. This year our rookie pitches out of it. Funny thing, this year I expected him to do just that. What a difference a year makes!

NatsFaninKC

Posted by: mastroj | April 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I gotta say, you can really see Rizzo's fingerprints all over this team's success. Credit to the players for executing, of course, and to Riggelman for pulling the strings..but there are actually useful matching pieces at the end of those strings. I agree with Mench or Morse though.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

1-2-3! Bamf!

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 28, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh god, Brian Bruney

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Bruney in- ESPN gamecast going nuts

Posted by: Tom8 | April 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

God. Brian Bruney sucks right now... why does Riggs throw him out against the heart of the order in 1-run ballgame? I don't get it.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This is the part where Bruney usually loses sight of the strike zone...

Posted by: CharlieF | April 28, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

They need an excuse to send him down to bring English back.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, double play! Big time...

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 28, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice grounder. Still, this is why you need to have an offense that can explode more often. The Nats are amazingly consistent but you need to not rely on your Clip and Save formula every night. Once in a while you need to splurge.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

DP to save the day!

Posted by: CapitolWill | April 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I was about ready to crucify Bruney, but he managed to come back, nice work.

Posted by: amorris525 | April 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Gotta give Bruney props. He got the job done... though, I still have zero confidence in him.

Nats offense hasn't exploded in a while. Put Zimmerman in there and it could change the mojo of the entire offense. Florida has a tough staff, but it could be the series where the bats start to break through. Though, knowing the baseball gods, as soon as the bats come through, the pitching lets up.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It's Clip 'n Save time!

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 28, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Clip can't be perfect forever. Definitely not Capps.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Strike that, forgot Clippard was so frickin' good.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Dunnnnnnnnkey

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Clip does it again!

Posted by: amorris525 | April 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Whew!

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 28, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Can we please get an insurance run or two here!

Posted by: slewis1 | April 28, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Clip!

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 28, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

And if this were last year, ex-Nats like Marlon Byrd would be killing us.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

2-3-4 hitters in the bottom of the 9th scares me.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 28, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

come on Capps!!!!!!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 28, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Classic quadruple switch in the middle of the ninth.

Posted by: jonb5 | April 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with the WFED feed? I'm getting the EBS signal.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

2 outs.

7 pitches, 7 strikes.

Go Capps!! (I should save that for tonight)

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 28, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I love these Nats. Thank God we're not Cubs fans--that team has no present and no future.

Posted by: hungrypug | April 28, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Bang Zoom!!!! Two games over .500.

Posted by: mastroj | April 28, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

CAPPS!!

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 28, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"I love these Nats. Thank God we're not Cubs fans--that team has no present and no future."

Like purgatory!

Posted by: Section506 | April 28, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Another Curly W in the books.

This year makes me happy.

Posted by: summerandwinter | April 28, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Loved seeing the defense come out in the bottom of the 9th! Go nats!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | April 28, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

C-A-P-P-S
CAPPS! CAPPS! CAPPS!

C-A-P-P-S
CAPPS! CAPPS! CAPPS!

C-A-P-P-S
CAPPS! CAPPS! CAPPS!

C-A-P-P-S
CAPPS! CAPPS! CAPPS!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 28, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

One of the biggest improvements in the Nats, and largely responsible for their winning ways, is the defense of the Nats. No three error innings and great range in the outfield, coupled with the fielding of Desmond at shortstop has resulted in a team that is over .500. I might just go to a few ball games this year

Posted by: edtb1 | April 28, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I know it's still VERY early, but if this keeps up, Rizzo's got to be exec. of the year.

Posted by: rbpalmer | April 28, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

WLWLWLWLWLWLWWIIIIN!!!!

Posted by: le_hung41 | April 28, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Who are these guys?!

Go NATS!

(c'mon Caps, take a page from the Nats and pull it out!)

FRANK 20

Posted by: tradervic1313 | April 28, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Great game, but would it kill them to win a game by more than one run?

I was there last Friday nite, when they won 5-1, and right now that feels like a HUGE margin.

Second gutty, quality performance by Atilano. Really happy for him. And the team.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Awesome game, awesome series. Grew up a Reds fan and have to say that Clippard and Capps are looking more and more like a lights-out Dibble/Myers duo.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my! Shades of early of '05, with the Chief. Gawd, it's frightening to think how badly last year's team would have lost this game.

Clippard and Capps once more!

Posted by: nats24 | April 28, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Madd Capps! 10-for-10! Barkeep, bourbon and Maalox all around for my friends! 12-and-10!! Who would have thunk it? Travel safely and let's whack these overrated Marlins!!

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | April 28, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Did not see the game today(in the office) but i did tvo the game, how about these guy's are they something special or what? We need more hitting yeah i know it's early and the Cub's staff is very good but you gotta love this pitching staff, Altiano while not as good as his Dodger start battled his azz off today and they are playing good defense and for those of you who saw the game today how did Bernadina look in rf, i'm not sure we can pitch the Clip job and Madd Capps every game but so far so good, the Marlin's are going to be tough, so far Dolphin stadium has been a house of horrors for us but i've got a feeling that's about to change and in the words of the immortal Jackie Robinson "LET'S GO"

Posted by: dargregmag | April 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out NATS have as many wins as the Philthy Phillies. Ha, Ha!!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | April 28, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

If we can beat Miami I will be a believer.

Posted by: Tom8 | April 28, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The 2005 Nationals finished April 13-11 after defeating the Mets 5-3 at RFK on April 30th. The team has not had a winning April since.

In 2006, they were 8-17 in April.

In 2007, they were 9-17 in April.

In 2008, they were 11-17 in April.

Last April, they were 5-16.

There's no way the Nats can finish April below .500 this season. They're off tomorrow, and only have one more game this month (Friday in Miami). At worst, they match a Nats record for fewest losses in April.

Of course, if they win, it's the best start since the franchise moved to DC.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I just want to remind people that Jim Bowden traded away Daryle Ward for Luis Atilano just 3 weeks after Atilano underwent Tommy John surgery.

How bold is that? Three weeks after surgery, that's the guy we want, knowing it will be 2 years before we know if we've got anything. And for sure JimBo was clued in enough to know there was a good chance he wouldn't be around in 2 years to enjoy any accolades if Atilano succeeded.

Posted by: Sunderland | April 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a great ride!

It feels precarious with how few runs they are scoring, but at least we're not looking at another April train wreck.

Not sure why I'm thinking of it now, but someday, I want to go to Philadelphia, and watch these guys just pound the Phils. I will behave myself, but will take great satisfaction.

Posted by: KenNat | April 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of young Luis A., the rumors have been confirmed - he was just spotted giving a post-game interview wearing the Elvis wig. Wonder if the wig gets its own seat on the plane?

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | April 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Luis was rocking the Elvis wig. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

You know, I really should read all the comments before posting...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

That, or have Bethesdangit buy me a Coke. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 28, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought the wig? was only a home game thing... hmmmm

Posted by: CBinDC1 | April 28, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Even though there was not that much offense we got just enough that we needed. It's a great sign for this team that we can get 4 hits and still win by relying on our defense and pitching. Defense was great, pitching was a bit shaky at times but Atilano, Bruney, and Clip all worked out of jams. If we get a quality start from our starter, we can win every game. Just wait til our offense heats up, when EVERYONE gets going, and especially when Zim is back in the lineup. This team could be scary.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 28, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Another curly W! Say, where's our little ray of sunshine to talk about "Done".

A little OT, and not to take anything away from Atilano's start, but did the RBI single in the bottom of the Second look fieldable to anyone else? Easy for me to say, I was always an outfielder (and had a couple of seconds before the ball arrived). Anyone else?

Posted by: stephen9885 | April 28, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

right now I feel better than words could do justice, way to be nats, I'd like for roger to be in there again friday, I've yet to understand why maxwell is treated like a golden god in waiting and bernadina has largely been forgotten about since breaking his ankle last year, if it's just power potential than that's foolish, can't wait to see zim back and some other guy, who pitches I've heard, get his shot with the big club

Posted by: bford1kb | April 28, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

This is a great ride!

It feels precarious with how few runs they are scoring, but at least we're not looking at another April train wreck.

Not sure why I'm thinking of it now, but someday, I want to go to Philadelphia, and watch these guys just pound the Phils. I will behave myself, but will take great satisfaction.


Posted by: KenNat | April 28, 2010 5:15 PM
______________________________________

Just don't get barfed on Ken....

Posted by: TimDz | April 28, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Just don't get barfed on Ken....

Posted by: TimDz
______________________________________

I've got tickets with 4 friends to see Nats@Phils on Sun. Aug 22. Mostly I'm just trying to see a stadium I've never been to. I don't know how many of the other guys are gonna wear Nats gear, so I'm worried I'll be the target of drunk pukers. Or at least beer showers.

Posted by: CharlieF | April 28, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

You got it, 1a - how about the first playoff game this year? ;-)

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | April 28, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

>Bang Zoom!!!! Two games over .500.

Posted by: mastroj

natswin natswin natswin let's go eat some fish baybee

Posted by: Brue | April 28, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, this team has become fun to watch. Last year, no way Nats would have won this one, and no way I would have expected them to pull it out. But this year, I really thought they could. Well, I did cringe when Bruney came in...

As for the inquiry about what to do with Dunn--SIGN HIM ALREADY!

Posted by: NatsFly | April 28, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

God bless that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.

Posted by: Section506 | April 28, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The Phillies just tied their game (in the 9th after being dominated by Lincecum for 8.1) on the most bullsh*t flare double I've ever seen. Man, I want to be ahead of them tonight.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 28, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

God bless that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.

Posted by: Section506

Amen to that! You know what's almost as great? Boswell's "trolls under the bridge" don't post after wins. No griping about Rizzo, RF, or the pitching staff. The silence is deafening and just as sweet.

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 28, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Good win. Go Nats. Heal RZ's hamstring.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 28, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

A very good series win, and for anyone who's counting, that's the 7th straight quality start from a Nationals' pitcher.

Onward to Miami, with Stammen, Olsen, & Lannan scheduled.

Posted by: BinM | April 28, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before. I'll say it again. Maxwell will be a good hitter--sooner than later if given the chance. And, of course, he's good at everything else.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | April 28, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I'll take it. :-)

---

You got it, 1a - how about the first playoff game this year? ;-)

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | April 28, 2010 5:53 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 28, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! When can we buy our NL playoff tickets?

Posted by: COL_DFox | April 28, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The nats train blasts thru Chicago and turns towards Florida, lets go smack the fish!

Posted by: cabraman | April 28, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

All right, this is all I can stand!!!!! None of the media outlets, the Post included, will even show the Nats in the standings anymore. This is the utmost in disrespect.

I looked at the NL East standings on the Post, MASN, ESPN, Sporting News, and others. I went to the bottom of the standings, and didn't see the Nats. I went below the bottom of the standings, and only saw the NL Central!!!!!

Something is different, and I can't put my finger on it. It couldn't possibly be anything good.

Could it?

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | April 28, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

As a long suffering Nats fan its just nice to be optimistic that better days are ahead and the ship is pointed in the right direction. Much more fun watching the game when your not wondering how much you are going to lose by tonight.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 28, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

An awful lot of fair weather fans coming out of the woodwork. Where were you the last 4 years. Anybody can support a team thats winning. Its not so easy the other way.

Jaybee and Periculum are awfully quiet.

This has been wonderful for me to see them winning. It makes the chemo not so hard to suffer through.

Posted by: natsguy | April 28, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I though Jaybee and Periculum were the same person.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 28, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Kidding Jaybee. Just kidding.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 28, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought soundbloke and Jim Bowden were the same person?

Posted by: periculum | April 28, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I am not so "quiet" natsguy just spending time on Ben Goessling's interactive chat blog during games. Lots of the main "bloggers" are there.

I hope you are kidding about the chemo. Its no joke as I can tell you from experience.

Posted by: periculum | April 28, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Noting that I see that Villone has been activated and Andrew Brown sent down. Instead of English coming back I foresee another of Riggleman's older vet guys coming up in the person of Villone. He wouldn't use English but he will surely use Vilone even if the Nats get killed with 10 runs in an inning.

Posted by: periculum | April 29, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

That's always been my motto: "Hey, *anybody* can root for a GOOD team!"
That, and "The Morbid Fascination continues..."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 29, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty down about the Caps' loss tonight. As a Nats' fan, however, I can see one bright spot: if the local 9 keeps playing competitive ball, there will more attention paid to them over the next several weeks with the pucksters out of action.
P.S.: I know it was impossible with the Nats on the road, but I was fantasizing Matt Capps showing up at the game tonight (maybe he could have done so Saturday night?) and shaking hands with Theodore and Varlamov, since he has proven pretty good at saves as well.

Posted by: bertbkatz | April 29, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Another nailbiter and I have no nails left. Let's hope the Nats start blowing out some teams!

That was one great 9th inning by Capps.

The team keeps finding a way to pull out these W's without Zim.


Posted by: GoingGoingGone | April 29, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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