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Game 31 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Marlins

The Nationals will be swinging pink bats today, a league-wide gesture in support of breast cancer awareness for Mother's Day. The Nationals took the pink theme seriously -- even the lineup card in their clubhouse was printed on pink paper. Several Nationals players gave messages to their mothers on the video board -- Tyler Clippard thanked him mom for "all those spaghetti dinners." Makes you wonder how he could be so skinny.

The Nationals have a chance to even the season series with the Marlins at three games a piece. It helps that they've got Livan Hernandez on the mound. Hernandez's 0.99 ERA ranks second in the majors behind only Ubaldo Jimenez. He also has 13 wins against the Marlins, his first team, more than against any other team.

The Nats enter today two games out of first place and one game behind the Mets for second. With a trip to New York tomorrow for three games, the Nationals can position themselves to further solidify their standing near the top of the National League East. Talk about it all right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 9, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Will the close wins keep coming?

Comments

Right now this is their best lineup.

Posted by: jonb5 | May 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Evening up the season series somehow means more to me than the Division ranking at this point. Let's see what happens.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"Evening up the season series somehow means more to me than the Division ranking at this point."

Agreed. Come on boys, let's go fishin'

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

But if it's possible to even up the series AND gain some ground in the division.....

Posted by: dryw1 | May 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Base hit against the shift by Dunn for an RBI - I'll take that, thank you very much.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Livan Hernandez is ridiculous. How long will the awesome last?

Posted by: moshemaizels | May 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

dryw1:

Yes, one feeds the other - Focus on the moment, and the rest follows.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Livo just keeps on keepin' on - 4IP, 62P, 41 strikes.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

He's a gift. An 0.89 ERA (at the moment) after this many starts is just crazy

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

CAskinhead:

He is just that, a gift. $900k+ for a fully-rounded (can also hit & field) starting pitcher, who is in the best shape he's been in in five-or-more years, and motivated to stay here.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

First, to continue the Livo-love, nothing (besides all the winning!) has made me happier this season. Second, an interesting stat: Capps has 16 appearances, Clip and Bruney each with 15. I would have thought Clip had 5 games on Bruney -- at least it feels that way. Maybe bullpen work is being spread out more than it seems? Although to be fair I'm sure Clip's are 1.2, 2.0 while Bruney is more like 0.1, 0.2 (and 3 ER haha). Just an obsevation.

Posted by: HenryStin | May 9, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

This could be a very good Sunday indeed, ATL is keeping it close vs. the Philthies, and the Lincicum's rolling with a 4-0 lead vs. the Muts. Let's go Nats!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

HenryStin:

FWIW, Bruney has 15GA, 15IP, Clippard has 14GA, 21.3IP, and Capps has 15GA, 16.3IP.

Bruney & Clippard are both at their best when they don't inherit baserunners. Capps has been a lock-down artist (so far) when given a lead.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

TPlush - "Thanks for pushing me out, mom..."

How could any sane person not love Morgan?

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 9, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

What a great example for the young pitchers. One guy gets you and you just shake it off and get the next 3 in a row.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 9, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, Gilbert, especially with that laugh at the end. Infectious, it is.

Posted by: HotNats | May 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Like i said in an earlier post Livo is the cuban Satchel Paige someone referred to him as Satchmo ah, that would be the late great Louis Armstrong the world renowned entertainer.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope i'm wrong but i think removing Livo is a huge mistake.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

4th blown save for Clippard in what, 15 appearances? As good as he has been, there may be a lesson to be learned here - Do not bring Clippard in with runners on base.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Gotta call up Storen

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What the hell did i tell you stupid,stupid,stupid,at least allow Livo to win or lose his own game complete and utter brain lock on Riggleman's part.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Willinghammer!! Again!!!

Whoo-Hoo!!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 9, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Another bases-empty homer. I think the only one with men on was Harris's yesterday.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 9, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hammer!!

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

...only one all week, I meant.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Da Hamma take's Clip and Riggleman off the hook.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Whew, once again, to echo Dunn's sentiment, we got one again that we wouldn't have last year, right on, Bang Zoom!!!!!

Posted by: HotNats | May 9, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Another nice gritty win. Let's go do some damage in NY!

After Livo gave up the dinger and then retired the next 6 batters in order, I was thinking of that song "I get knocked down - But I get up again - You're never gonna keep me down" It kind of typifies the way the team is playing right now.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hammertime! Bang! Zoom!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hammer Time!! Did anyone else watching the replay on tv absolutely see the homer in his eyes?

Posted by: dryw1 | May 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I just can't stop chuckling at the silver-Elvis-wigged Willingham's interview right now, answering questions in all seriousness. It's awesome!

Posted by: HotNats | May 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@BinM

I'm a little concerned about Clippard lately too. Lucky for him, the team has turned those BSs into Wins, but regression to the mean will get you every time. Inheriting a man on 1st and letting him score is a different scenario than coming in with 2 or 3 on and "escaping" with only one run against. This one was on him.

Posted by: g3jr | May 9, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Debbie Taylor needs a new job i mean she's interviewing Capps and she ask exactly what was your approach WHAT? then she incorrectly announces that Jwill's game winning homer was a game tying homer WHAT? if your husband wasn't a scout for this team where would you be? Jim Riggleman has been over managing last few games, double switch's that if it wasn't for some late game heroic's would blow up in his face the bullpen is becomming overworked and it's only May, yeah i know as a Nat's fan i 've got a lot of nerve given these past two years of inept managing, but Riggleman for all his savvy and old school way's should not second guess himself Livan should not have been removed as i said in an earlier post let Hernandez play it out stop thinking that Clip and Capps are going to do it everytime.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Clippard is tired, they have ridden him too much this season. Hopefully Slaten helps with depth and Storen will be a big boost when he gets here in a month. English should be back up immediately. Just release Bruney and Walker we need to clear up room on the 40 man anyway.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | May 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Clippard may be getting overused but I also think he is no longer under the radar and hitters are more knowledgeable about his stuff. It's all about making adjustments. Bruney needs to get his act together so he can spell Clip. Speaking of adjustments, what is Zim doing with these looping underhand throws? He made another one today that pulled Dunn up the line making him tag the runner. Have seen several of these ths homestand.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 9, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

anybody else see morgan do a head first dive on a hit and run? i think it was in the first...thats a no no morgan.

Posted by: chillsonic | May 9, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Natmeister:

Good observation on Clippard; The league may indeed be catching up on him. The team would be better off if Bruney could pick it up a notch, but I don't think he will right away; Better off with Burnett, Walker & Slaten in the middle innings for now.

Regarding RZim - He went through a period like this last year, where he started either double-clutching or throwing sidearm & piled up a bunch of errors, IIRC. He'll work through it.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Check out the Rays and A's game.

Middle of the 8th. Braden's got a 'good' game going on.....

Get on a radio, get on a TV, whatever you can. If it happens, it's only happened 20 or so times in MLB history.

Posted by: Barney001 | May 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Against the TB Rays, no less! Very impressive.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Was at the game-- woo hooo excitement and LOTS of wind!

First, Livo LOVES to pitch. I mean, that man just loves to get up on the mound and throw the ball.

Second, Clipp is the luckiest SOB on the face of the earth, winning his blown saves... But he sure is fun to watch.

Pretty good crowd for a cool and windy afternoon, and most people stayed to the end, although the 3rd base side (shady side) cleared out by the 6th inning.

No Florida fans visible or audible. None. Not a peep when Hanley Ramirez hit the homer, he trotted around the bases to dead silence. And a LOT of noise when Josh hit his hammer. Great feeling to be at a home game that felt like a home game!!!

You have to feel that Mike Rizzo has been spot on his trades (except for Marquis).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 9, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Just finished. Perfecto.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 9, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

hahahaa A-Rod can suck it! Everyone knows of his feud with A-Rod right?

"Now, look, I really don't want to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame."
-A-Rod

No, his fame has just began. He's in the history books.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Perfect game AND the Nats are tied for 2nd place. At least until tomorrow. After which they'll own 2nd place. 17-14. Suck on it and like it. natswin natswin natswin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S03PhWFhluc&feature=related

Posted by: Brue | May 9, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Also, kid from Duke Ellinton did an OUTSTANDING job with both the National Anthem and God Bless America.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 9, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Morgan got decoyed by the second baseman the hit and run belly flop.

On another note -- for Mother's Day the Old Screech was resurrected as Mother Screech for several poignant mother-son encounters with New Screech. Actually, she looked kind of trashy. Also, New Screech is able to remove his hat for the National Anthem. This will be happy news for the poster who always complained about Screech's sewn on hat.

Posted by: Natmeister | May 9, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Just thinking; We need to start scoring some runs when we head up to NY and out west to the Rockies we had better be ready on the broadcast today Dibble pointed out that the combined RF position is batting a "robust".153 in a word, pathetic i know StanK and the Lerners don't care because what these Nats are doing(winning)was not in the plans, but Rizzo needs to find a bat and not just any bat,sooner or later this huge hole in the lineup is going to catch up to this team and trust me it's going to be sooner than later

Posted by: dargregmag | May 9, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

If we want to louse up the chemicstry of this club in a hurry, Jermaine "I won't play for $4 million" Dye is still unemployed.

I say we hang in there with the right field situation as it is until late July, and let's be a buyer for a three-month rental run to the playoffs.

How sweet would that really be if we're still in this thing?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | May 9, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

i say look into trading for david dejesus...

Posted by: sec231 | May 9, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind, Mike Morse is finishing up his rehab in Syracuse, and looked pretty good in that Strasburg game the other day. Morse getting it together would be a significant addition.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 9, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind, Mike Morse is finishing up his rehab in Syracuse, and looked pretty good in that Strasburg game the other day. Morse getting it together would be a significant addition.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 9, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

dang, I was afraid that was going to happen

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 9, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@Nats_Lady

Actually, there appeared to be a small group in the left field seats near the foul pole who from time to time put up a racket. A good game never the less. Anyone feel Sean should have pitched to a few more batters before the hook?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 10, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: adhardwick | May 10, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

After Burnett couldn't get the lefty out, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in him facing Cantu, Ramirez et. al.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 10, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@adhardwick: "Actually, there appeared to be a small group in the left field seats near the foul pole who from time to time put up a racket."

There seemed to be a clump of people down in about 110-112 or so who tried to chant "Let's Go Marlins (clap-clap, clap-clap-clap)" a few times. They were generally drowned out by a STADIUM-WIDE chant of "Let's Go Nats"--not even prompted by the scoreboard/PA.

I was proud of the few thousand of real fans who braved the cold (including me and my wife) through all nine innings.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | May 10, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I think RF and bullpen depth are the biggest issues with this team right now. The bullpen depth looks like it will improve with Storen coming up, but RF will not improve without a move. I think given the lack of options right now, we are better off waiting to fill this rather than making a move that we will regret in the future (Dye)

Posted by: Tom8 | May 10, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Another nice win for the Nats. How sweet to take a series from the Fish. Now, if we could just take one from the Phillies... But overall we seem to be playing better against the division than last year, and that's good to see. Oh, and atta boy, Livo!

I watched part of the postgame and then went to the store, so I missed the end of the Oakland no-no. I did see highlights later on MLB Network and ESPN. Very moving footage of Braden with his grandma afterwards. btw, I have one word for A-Rod in re. the no-no by the pitcher with "a handful of wins." 'Hah!' (you could look it up) :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 10, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Agree RF can wait. Bernadina finally got a hit (his defense is superb0, Morse may be coming up, maybe he can nail it down. As Sec 222 on FJB(?) posted, increased timely hitting (more scoring) will help the bull pen situation. NATS stranded quite a few runners yestersay. Shave been 4 or 5-2 with Livo getting the win.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 10, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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