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Again, the Nationals have to bounce back

Last year after brutal losses, Nationals players dressed quickly and walked out of the clubhouse as if there was nothing brutal about them, their indifference shielding any sting. This year, the Nationals want to move from losses like last night's, but they want to feel it first.

"It's a tough loss," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "We'll agonize over it a little bit tonight. And hopefully get right back after it and win a ballgame."

The Nationals have so far struck the right balance between wearing a loss and moving beyond it. Before last night, four losses vied for roughest of the season: the two games the Nationals allowed 10 runs before the third inning, the 14-inning loss to the Dodgers and the game when Brian Bruney walked in the winning run at Wrigley Field. In each case, the Nationals won the next day.

Because there is a day game today, the Nationals will walk back into their clubhouse less than 12 hours after leaving it. They had a chance to move to 19-14, to extend their winning streak to four, to wake up Wednesday with a chance of finishing the day tied for first. They don't have much time, but their task now is to rebound from perhaps their most crushing loss of the season.

"We will," said Tyler Clippard, one of Tuesday's culprits. "That's what this club is all about. We fight, man. Yeah, it hurts right now. Sleep it off. Tomorrow, we'll be ready to go."


In his first rehab start, Jason Marquis got roughed up in Class A Potomac, Zach Berman writes.

With their fourth straight victory seemingly locked up, the Nationals bullpen imploded in the eighth inning and handed the Mets an 8-6 win that dropped the Nats back to a second-place tie.


Norfolk 5, Syracuse 3: The Sky Chiefs managed only three hits. Mike Morse went 1 for 3 with a home run and a walk. Jesse English allowed no runs and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings. Josh Wilkie struck out two in two perfect innings.

Harrisburg 3, Altoona 2 (five innings): Bradley Coon went 1 for 3 with a home run. Chris Marrero went 1 for 2 with a double, raising his batting average to .216. Tom Millone allowed two runs on three hits and no walks in five innings.

Winston-Salem 8, Potomac 5: Michael Burgess went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Derek Norris went 0 for 4 with an RBI.

Hagerstown was off.


The loss will let us know what the Nats are made of, Mark Zuckerman writes.

This picture is really funny,

The solution in right field should be Willie Harris, writes Past A Diving Vidro.

Friend of the Journal Tyler Kepner picked the wrong time to write a good story about Tyler Clippard.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 12, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
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Next: Nationals-Mets lineups


Yesterday was lousy, but a win today cures all. That's baseball, 162 games.

Weather forecast:
Occasional light rain and drizzle. Highs in the lower 50s. East winds 10 to 15 mph...Becoming northeast this afternoon. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Ugh. Damp, 50 degrees. Feel like Viera in early March.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 12, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

If another team is sufficiently enamored with Bruney that they'd claim him off waivers, more power to them. He needs some time in AAA to regroup and if we lose him in the DFA process, that's life. For now, he's killing us.

Posted by: flotsam3 | May 12, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

This will be a close game today with Pelfrey hurling for the Mets and Stammen for the good guys no need to dwell on last night it's done and over but we did leave ten plus on base last night and if Bay doesn't get Nyjer's twisting liner with the sack's loaded well................... okay, let's take this series GO NATS!!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 12, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

This serves to reminds us that the NATS are not guite there yet. To contine in dargregmag's vein, if Willingham catches that drive against the wall.... Let Go NATS!!

Posted by: adhardwick | May 12, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

This serves to reminds us that the NATS are not guite there yet. To contine in dargregmag's vein, if Willingham catches that drive against the wall.... Let Go NATS!!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Bounce back, boys!!
Big one today. Let's go Stammen!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I still want to know why Olsen got pulled at 83 pitches and 5.1IP? Then why pull Walker after just .2IP, this looks like a replay of the 9/17/05 fiasco Zuckerman reposted yesterday (way to jinx us BTW). You are up 6-1, why not just let Olsen pitch? 4 relievers saw action on Monday and you have short rest before the get-out-of-town game Wednesday - why go to a suspect bullpen early?

Posted by: estuartj | May 12, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Preach it, estuartj!

Posted by: Section506 | May 12, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

On an unrelated note, has Marrero (AA) gone from prospect to suspect? I remember him being hyped big-time after the Nats picked him ("a hitting machine"). He has taken forever to make his way through the minors. Now he's hitting .216. Anybody out there with knowledge or an opinion?

Posted by: fpcsteve | May 12, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

>"I can't control the results," Bruney said. "I feel good. I felt like I threw downhill, and that's a step in the right direction for me. Unfortunately, I got beat."

Anybody else think that this guy is a complete tool? It's like last year when everybody thought they were playing in a development league. Nobody cares about progress. Just throw the ball over the plate and let the fielders do the work.
I do think it's cheap to pile on Riggs for taking Olsen out, his ball was flattening out, a sure sign that his arm slot had dropped and was getting the ball up - it's not Riggs' fault the bullpen has a lot of holes, it's Rizzo's. If a guy is on your pitching roster, eventually you have to use him whether you like it or not. They each only have so many innings in their arms. Clippard was due to get lit up too. If the team doesn't want to see Bruney, they should cut him, because he's going to have to throw some innings as long as he's here.

Posted by: Brue | May 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Missed game last night and catching up on comments...

So was Riggs asked why he took Scottie out when he did?

"Marrero raising his batting average to .216"--in AA? I was about to add something sarcastic about his being the heir apparent to Adam Dunn but then checked his age: doesn't turn 22 until July, so there's still time. But clearly not ready for majors yet, and no guarantee he'll ever be.

KenNat, I do remember that heartbreaking loss of the expansion Senators to the BoSox, blowing a 12-5 lead. For me that automatically recalls the name "Jim Pagliaroni." Think anybody except old Senators' fans even remember the guy?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 12, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Also it wasn't just pulling Olsen that was wrong. Pulling Walker because youre worried about a righty-lefty matchup is crazy and unnecessary when you're up 4 or 5 runs. Just leave the guys alone who are doing the job. It just looked like Riggs was on auto-pilot from all the 1-run games.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with dovelevine. Why burn through the entire bullpen over-managing for 4 innings when you've got a 5-run lead?

Posted by: LandoverHillsBoysClub | May 12, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"I can't control the results" -- that's classic. I gotta use that at work. Tool is right.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 12, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Bullpen use yesterday was maybe the first instance of Riggs over-managing a game. Olsen and Walker were pulled too soon, forcing Bruney in, forcing Clippard in to bail Bruney.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | May 12, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine Riggleman doesn't believe he made a few mistakes last night. Taking Olsen out was not a bad mistake, only in retrospect a mistake at all. But failing to protect a 6-2 lead with defensive replacements in left field and around the infield, that was a mistake. Guzman has almost gotten to the point he should dh in the AL, his defense is that bad. Willingham just should not be in the game with a lead in the late innings and Bernadina would have likely caught Barajas' long fly ball that hit off the wall at about 7'. Those were Riggleman's mistakes. Maybe he wants to build Willingham's confidence, but he just %$#^ed up.

Posted by: Juliasdad | May 12, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Pulling Walker to put in Bruney doesn't affect any righty-lefty match-up. They're both right-handed.

Agree that Bernadina / Harris shold have been in left field in the bottom of the 8th inning. With all the moves Riggleman has been making in late innings, I was surprised to see Willingham out there.

I haven't seen anyone comment on the strange way Walker was pulled in the bottom of the 8th inning last night. We come back from the break, and Walker is on the mound, ready to pitch. Only then does Riggleman emerge form the dugout to bring Bruney into the game, and we go to another break. What was with that?

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 12, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I doubt you'll be back here, bert, but here it is: Riggleman was waiting to see who would hit for the Mets. When lefty-hitting Cora was announced, lefty-throwing Slaten was summoned. (Slaten, not Bruney, succeeded Walker.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 12, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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