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Wednesday's Nationals lineup

Back to baseball, at least for the moment. The Nationals released today's lineup on their official Twitter feed. With left-handed Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies, Manager Jim Riggleman made some changes from Opening Day. Ian Desmond moves from eighth to second, Adam Kennedy drops from sixth to eighth and Mike Morse replaces Willie Harris in right field.

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Ian Desmond, SS
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Mike Morse, RF
8. Adam Kennedy, 2B
9. Jason Marquis, SP

Interesting to see Rodriguez moved up to sixth, right behind the heart of the Nationals offense. Coming off a season in which he posted a 73 OPS+, Rodriguez went .318/.333/.432 in the big three this spring. On opening day, he went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

Give early credit to hitting coach Rick Eckstein, who worked with Rodriguez on his leg kick. And now his OPS+ is sitting at a cool 411. ( I looooove early-season baseball stats.)

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 7, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
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Next: In February, Nationals cut off group sales to Philly fans


Nothing like an 11-1 thrashing, an invasion of asinine Phillies fans and a bevy of thick-headed remarks by Kasten to kill even the most optimistic fan's first week of April.

Let's hope we luck out with a win tonight. Maybe that would let the team press the reset button. Lord, we don't need another 6-17 start.

Posted by: nattydread1 | April 7, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey, we start this game at 0-0. I like Morse in RF over Willy Tavarez. Let's hope for clean fielding from Desmond.

Posted by: LandoverHillsBoysClub | April 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe this is why the Nats are doomed?

Go to google
Click maps
Type Washington Nationals Baseball Club
Select option B
Then enjoy

Trust me you will enjoy this.

Posted by: hansenjo | April 7, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I hope Desmond can keep working walks hitting second.

Posted by: longterm | April 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Chico!

Back on topic, it'll be interesting to see how long Desmond stays in the game, or should I say, Guzman stays out?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | April 7, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It's true nattydread, I feel the wind already sucked out this season, despite not being pig-biting mad.

On the plus-side, Hamels had a WHIP of 1.28 last season and an ERA of 4.32. He only averaged 6.01 innings per game, and batters hit .273 against him.

Mediocrity itself. Surely a sign of the decline of Hamels.

The bad news?

v. Nationals in 2009:
WHIP 1.145
ERA 3.44
IP/G 6.11 (that's 11/100 of an inning, not one out)
BAA .239

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I know we're all bummed out after Monday -- on and off the field -- and Cole Hamels won't be much easier, but that is a respectable lineup.

Here's hoping Stan K realizes the firestorm he's unleashed, says the right things to calm everyone down, and the Nats trounce the Phillies tonite.

I won't be taking any bets about how many Nats fans will be there, however. The proportion could actually be much worse than Monday, since tickets to Citizens Bank Park are tough to get and locals will feel no compelling need to go tonight, especially after all of Monday's bad press.

Of course, Kasten might point to a small turnout of locals tonight and use it as vindiction for his sales policy, but that would miss the entire point about Opening Day.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"tickets to Citizens Bank Park are tough to get and locals will feel no compelling need to go tonight, especially after all of Monday's bad press."

Yeah, but some of us who couldn't get tickets to Monday's game already had purchased tickets for tonight.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

>Maybe this is why the Nats are doomed?
>Go to google
>Click maps
>Type Washington Nationals Baseball Club
>Select option B
>Then enjoy
>Trust me you will enjoy this.
>Posted by: hansenjo | April 7, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It was choice number 3 (C) for me. Here is the evidence:

Posted by: kjhealey | April 7, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@kjhealey: Just tried it. LOL. At least unlike the Senators, they're here to stay.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I hear the Nats are moving to Portland.

Posted by: Cartaldo | April 7, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Check out this weeks usa today's sports weekly it has a list of mlb players who get hotel suite's(stipulated in their contract)when they are on the road the Mets have the most players(6) the Nat's have two(Zimmerman&Marquis) the O's have one(Tejada) surprisingly the Yankees only have two(Teixiera&Sabathia).Japanese players also get special perks in terms of travel back to their homeland, another article alludes to the premise that teams that spend more tend to win more(Shocking!!)

Posted by: dargregmag | April 7, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that this lineup really is the (current) Nats' best lineup. All the heavy hitters; Desmond up near the top of the order; best shot at a good offensive right fielder. And Marquis has a good chance of being the best starting pitcher we have until SS comes.

Posted by: jonb5 | April 7, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I like the lineup tonight but I would switch Kennedy to hit #2 and Desmond hit 8th then the lineup would be more balanced.

Posted by: markfd | April 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that its the rude behavior of the Philly fans more than the numbers that will get those group organizers in trouble. You can't show up with busloads of drunk people who make a mockery of opening day and walk away without any consequences.

Given the heartburn this has given Stan have to guess that from now on Philly groups will not be contacted or encouraged as much as they may have been in the past.

Kids and families do go to baseball games. There is nothing that says under 21 only and most good bars/nightclubs have an intoxicated 86'ed policy.

Stan should just 86 the Philly group organizers for not keeping an eye on their patrons.

Posted by: periculum | April 7, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Two things that would placate the situation:

1. Let's have a home opener that doesn't involve the Phillies.

2. If a grass-roots effort can put Obama in the White House, surely there's a grass-roots movement awaiting to take over ownership of this team. The Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned corporation. Why not the Nats?

Posted by: luv2bikva | April 7, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Mike Morse starting. The guy can hit.

Posted by: richs91 | April 7, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Tonight at 10pm or so, Hamels will have been knocked around, Zim and the Hammer will have their first HRs of the year, Marquis will have his first win as a National and Monday's debacle will be a distant memory. Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: VaNat | April 7, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's just hope Morse can field better than Dunn and Willingham. That is at least as important.

Posted by: periculum | April 7, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Marquis issues no walks and pitches into the 7th inning. 6th at least.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I like this line-up. Have not seen defense from Harris in the 1st two games at the Park that lead me to believe he is an upgrade. I realize Morse will not be an upgrade either but I think his bat is a better fit and I like either Desmond or Kennedy in 2 hole.

Will be interested in seeing how many Philly fans will be here. Have no problem with numbers (remember Camden Yard with Boston and Yankees) but god were they rude.

Posted by: sjm3091 | April 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Put Guzman back hitting first or second. Guzman can hit.

Posted by: joebstewart | April 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I would really appreciate it if you would use consistent statistics for comparisons. Switching from OPS+ to BA/OBP/SLG makes that impossible, or, if there is some sort of conversion factor, difficult.

Posted by: markfromark | April 7, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Is it unreasonable to expect the Line-Up blog item to also tell us the TV/Radio situation is for the game? Especially given the confusion with MASN and MASN2?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | April 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Put Guzman back hitting first or second. Guzman can hit."

Perhaps, but just like Michael Jackson in his prime, he wears a glove on one hand for no apparent reason.

Late inning PH is a perfect, if vastly overpaid, role for Guzman on this or any other team.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | April 7, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Way to go StanK and Lerners. Invite loud, dumpy fans of the opposing team to our Opening Day. Field the worst team in baseball so the loud, dumpy fans can taunt your Nats fan planholders every half inning.
Tell the media it's simply part of "growing pains" a bad club must endure.
You've actually sunk to sub-Snyder level as far as punishing what's left of your fan base! I didn't think that was possible.
I was there Monday and it was miserable despite the President's visit. That's another gift you didn't deserve.
Please let someone else run our team.

Posted by: gary9smith | April 7, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just hope Morse can field better than Dunn and Willingham. That is at least as important."

Keep your fingers crossed, periculum. Morse so far is, shall we say, a work in progress in RF.

Posted by: JohnRDC | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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