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Adam Kennedy can roll with the role

Morning roundup

Adam Kennedy walked into the Nationals clubhouse and saw his name in the starting lineup, something not wholly common lately. As Cristian Guzman hit a hot streak and Ian Desmond became one of the best defensive shortstops in the league, Kennedy most days became a backup.

"It's not easy," Kennedy said. "You just have to stay prepared, do a little extra work here and there. It's just sort of out of your control, you know? You just try to get in there and make an impression when you can, be a good teammate."

Kennedy worked out and ran more and took extra groundballs on days he didn't start. Otherwise, he did not alter his routine. He never complained. "Guys who taught me how to play the game and be a good teammate, I try to carry that from them," Kennedy said.

When he finally got a chance to start, Kennedy had to face Tim Lincecum. Despite starting five of the previous 12 games, Kennedy was one of the primary dismantlers of Lincecum. He ripped an RBI single to score the game's first run in the third inning. In the fifth, he contributed to boos for Lincecum by drawing a leadoff walk and then stealing two bases.

When he left the park, Kennedy knew he probably wouldn't be in the lineup today, not with a left-hander on the mound. Kennedy has found ways to contribute, even without consistent playing time.

"I feel bad about that, because I love having him on the field," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "And I know good things happen when he's out there."

FROM THE POST

Boz takes an epically insightful and awesome tour through the importance of the count to baseball.

The Reverse Lock came through as Luis Atilano topped Tim Lincecum and the Nationals beat the Giants 7-3 to get back above .500.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse was off.

Bowie 3, Harrisburg 1: Aaron Thompson allowed one earned run on four hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out four. Jesus Valdez went 2 for 4.

Kinston 7, Potomac 0: The P-Nats managed two hits. Evan Bronson allowed two earned runs on seven hits and no walks in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four.

Lakewood 11, Hagerstown 10: The Suns lost when Lakewood scored three in the ninth to walkoff. Steve Souza went 3 for 5 with a home run. Sandy Leon went 3 for 4 with a double.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

The Nationals used their typical approach to knock out Tim Lincecum, Mark Zuckerman writes.

Post-Standard columnist Jeff Kramer asks if poor, desperate Syracuse can keep awesome, near-perfect Stephen Strasburg for the whole year.

If a 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor sounds expensive, it is. It's a one-of-a-kind basebabll card, and Stephen Strasburg's will run more than $16,000 in an auction.

Tim Lincecum admitted he lost his focus last night, Henry Schulman of the Chronicle writes.

An apt blast from the past: Barry Svrluga's game story from the day Levale Speinger beat Johan Santana.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 27, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
 
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Next: Today's lineup

Comments

Man, I was at that Reverse Lock game. So cool.

I like the Kennedy signing more and more as the season progresses.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

anyone else see Huff spike his bat last night after striking out in the late innings? nearly hit Nieves with it. Why wasn't he ejected?

great win last night! glad i stayed up to watch.

Posted by: DCguy7 | May 27, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if we all chip in a few bucks, we can put in a bid to buy that card. Then, when he's inducted into the Hall of Fame, we'll sell it and split the profits!

There's actually a contest associated with that auction. Guess the ending price (without going over), and you'll win a free box of 2010 Bowman Hobby Baseball:

http://tinyurl.com/25rwka8

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Boz's column was awesome. I was reading it during the game, and doggone if he wasn't right most of the time.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | May 27, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Why did Riggs pull Atilano so early. It was like the Mets game all over again. He was pitching great, had a big lead, didn't walk anyone, had a low pitch count.....Anyone know?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

dovelevine: Riggleman said in the post-game interview that he "saw some things in Atilano's 3rd trip through the line-up that he didn't like." I thought it was a bit of a quick hook, as well.

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | May 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So we lose to Volstead and beat Josh Johnson, lose to Wellmeyer and beat Lincecum.....this team is NUTS.
Keep it up guys. Great win.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

That's the difference between an "almost contender" and "contender" doveline and why I am sticking to my 75-78 game prediction. I was counting on one win for this series--prove me wrong NATS and win it!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

After watching them in five exhibition games in Fla., the exhibition here before Opening Day, and Opening Day vs. the Phils, I predicted 66 wins and, uh, I'm not sticking to it.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I was totally thinking "reverse lock" last night! Go Nats!

Posted by: JennX_ | May 27, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

AK is a "gamer" like JWill a pro's pro hate to use cliche's but it fits for these two i think we need to attack the count when we're at the plate i'm thinking good pitchers are gonna throw strikes especially early in the count, nice win against Timmmaayyy and the pen was pretty damn good last night, as far Atilano is concerned i think Dibble was on point when he said that Riggleman's not fooling around anymore he wants results from the starters(7+ or more)and quality innings anything less and it's the hook!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

>>i think Dibble was on point when he said that Riggleman's not fooling around anymore he wants results from the starters(7+ or more)and quality innings anything less and it's the hook! Posted by: dargregmag

I don't understand this at all and I really like Dibbs. But Atilano was pitching a great game--no walks, only a few hits, just a couple of runs and a low pitch count. Plus we had a big lead. What was the problem with his pitching, why was Dibble down on him and why was he pulled? What more do you want from your starter. He pitched great.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Riggleman's motivation in yanking Atilano is that if you score 6 runs off of Lincecum, you had damn well better win that game. Dibble made the comment that it looked like Atilano was pitching batting practice after he got the lead, and that's what it looked like to me -- too much stuff over the heart of the plate. The last thing you want is have your starting pitcher give up 4 or 5 quick runs and turn it into a ballgame.

It's good that the Nats have the bullpen talent this year that Riggs can just turn the game over to them and say "lock it up, boys".

Posted by: joebleux | May 27, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@ dovelevine. Dibbs said in the post-game show that Atilano was successful in the first four innings by attacking batters, being aggressive. But, once he got the lead, began starting batters off with change-ups and nibbling, instead of sticking with the agressive pitching that was serving him well earlier in the game. Dibbs also made some crack about how he wouldn't proud of having Atilano's 4-1 record with a 5 ERA (before the game).

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | May 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

In any event, it's nice to have the pitcher pulled for some nuance stuff rather than the ball will not stay in the park.

Posted by: markfromark | May 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I took to Adam Kennedy from the first game so it's nice to see him get a little credit here.

So Kilgore. Love your writing and I'm grateful we have a beat writer who cares about the game. But you don't interact with us as much as the others. You ever gonna do a chat?

Posted by: NatsNut | May 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

OK but gotta disagree on this one. Even the HR Atilano gave up was a real good pitch--down and in. On that you just tip your hat to the batter. He made a great swing. But it was an excellent pitch. Thought Ati looked and pitched great last night. Early hook was undeserved. Coulda really rested the pen.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Trolling again for somebody less cheap than me. Keith Law has new rankings of last year's draft for ESPN Insiders. Anyone care to be a generous sharer of the Nats analysis?

Posted by: Bethesdangit1 | May 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy is a pro's pro and a terrific addition to the club. I think his contribution, along with Guzman's, has been undervalued from the press to the public.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Got the late shift today so i can't sneak home(office is 8 mi from home) and watch the game good news; the boss's son is gone for the holiday weekend, bad news; his suck up dept.head is here and basically think's i'm a bleeding heart liberal and is not a baseball fan, i told him he should be investigated by the house on unamerican activities,anyway back to baseball; i like the fact that Riggs is taking a hardline approach with the starters a 5.00 era is unacceptable and Riggs is right to hold them accountable and to higher standard.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dibble has the sophistication of a relief pitcher.

Posted by: Section506 | May 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dibble has the sophistication of a relief pitcher.

Posted by: Section506 | May 27, 2010 12:29 PM |


Maybe Atilano didn't seem convicted?

Posted by: poncedeleroy | May 27, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I was a proponent of signing Orlando Hudson before the season started, but it looks like things turned out for the better. The Nats made the right move by going with AK. He costs way less, can play 1b and 3b in addition to 2b, and doesn't make waves when he loses at bats to Guzman. Having Hudson here also would have cost Guzman and/or Desmond significant playing time.

Posted by: VaNat | May 27, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

the last few batters atilano faced were hammering the ball and riggs obviously trusted the bullpen more than atilano at that point, which is probably smart, Luis seemed to think that simply throwing strikes with a big lead was enough and it ain't, the homer might have been a good pitch if it wasn't supposed to be a sinker outside that instead ended up down and inner half, also nyjer got away with his mistakes yesterday, but he still made them, good win, hope stammen doesn't make me want to rip my eyes out today

Posted by: bford1kb | May 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

>>hope stammen doesn't make me want to rip my eyes out today Posted by: bford1kb

Good 1.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope Stammen does make me want to rip my eyes out?

Posted by: Section506 | May 27, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

No one can truly make you want to rip your eyes out; that's a choice each of us must make for himself.

(I'm glad I took a peek at that Svrluga article: now I know why youse lot are all the time going on about that crazy-[behind] "reverse lock" business!)

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 27, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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