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Game 42 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Mets

Before the year began, it was assumed the Nationals would have the league's most difficult early-season schedule, reigning playoff teams comprising 19 of their first 40 games. With that stretching ending last night with a victory over the Mets, it seems the Nats pretty much did have one of the tougher season-opening stretches.

According to Baseball Reference's formula, the Nationals have the best strength of schedule in the major leagues. They have gone 9-11 against teams that are currently .500 or better, which is right in the middle of the pack. The Nats are 12-9 against teams below .500, and the Mets (19-22) certainly qualify as one of those.

The Nationals are wearing their blue uniforms with the red, white and blue D.C. logo on the chest in honor of Military Appreciation Night as Luis Atilano opposes John Maine. Talk about it right here.

8:20: John Maine left in the first inning for precautionary reasons, according to a Mets spokesperson. In the bullpen before the game, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen noticed Maine's velocity was down. After throwing five pitches in a walk to Nyjer Morgan, Manager Jerry Manuel still believed Maine's velocity was diminished and that his delivery seemed off. Maine will see a doctor tomorrow.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 20, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
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Next: Mark Lerner's batting practice misadventure


What happened to Atilano in the 1st?

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | May 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

WOW - Maine gets staked to a 3-0 lead, and gets pulled after only five pitches. With the NYM bullpen exposed, let's hope for some run production (lineout DP from Kennedy excepted).

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Vze2 - Dunn made a bad throw that Desmond dropped (still could have caught it) on a double play ball, then Wright cleared the bases.

Posted by: nami322 | May 20, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm becoming more and more disenchanted with Nyjer. Baserunning and outfield blunders continue to happen on a regular basis. Bernadina might be a better alternative.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 20, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it's called a "big inning"; Happens to everybody eventually. If he can settle down from here, it's still good.

What happened to Atilano in the 1st?
Posted by: Vze2sr66 | May 20, 2010 7:28 PM

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Oops - Desmond got a little under that one; Still, got 1 run back.

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Questionable as to whether or not Atilano lasts 6IP tonight; He made a lot of pitches early, and hasn't had a 1-2-3 inning yet tonight.

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Get Walker up, & warm him up quick; Atilano seems closer to toast than fresh bread.

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer is hurting the team -- it's that simple

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Am I nuts (don't answer that) or is Dibble totally contradicting himself? First, he was saying that Atilano should abandon the sinker because it wasn't working and now he's saying you can't go away from your best pitch if it gets hit and his best pitch is...the sinker!!! Huh?

And, yes, swanni, Nyjer's hurting them. I have no idea what's going on, but he's playing like he has no clue.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 20, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

this is one ugly game.

Posted by: nami322 | May 20, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Keystone Kops night tonight. Jeez.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

we need a live chicken --is it live? -- a live chicken.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

So here goes the Keystone Kops (circa 2009). Good night, Gracie.

Posted by: BinM | May 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow...some really...interesting? defense tonight. Not good.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | May 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Oof. Maybe I should turn on Parks and Recreation. Yeesh! Hopefully they bounce back when I'm at the game tomorrow!

Posted by: HenryStin | May 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, we've got 'em right where we want 'em!

Posted by: baltova1 | May 20, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that something isn't affecting nyjer -- home life, injury, etc. Something! But he's getting close to a one way ticket to Syracuse

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

By the way - isn't it suspicious that the mets had a left handed pitcher warming up with our left handed lineup in place at the beginning of the game? Was Maine really hurt? I think the nats should make an official inquiry with the league

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

mets announcers said that they didnt like how maine was warming up in the bullpen but they wanted to see how he started pitching. and when he started he didnt get higher than the low 80's on the radar gun so they had somebody ready just in case.

Posted by: nami322 | May 20, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Gee and he just happened to be a will be interesting to see if Maine makes his next scheduled start

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

lol im sure the lefty thing was not a coincidence

Posted by: nami322 | May 20, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Swanni, do you really think Jerry Manuel would go to all that trouble just to get a lefty in against a lefty lineup? Maine is one of their front line starters. They are just being careful - maybe he IS hurt. Fact is, we just haven't gotten the job done against a journeyman reliever. And Strasburg can't get here quickly enough. Atilano adios, and Stammen isn't that far behind.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 20, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Manuel and the mets are under tremendous pressure to win now -- jobs are on the line

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Substituting a different arm pitcher at the beginning of a game is an old baseball trick, although it's considered unsportsman like

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

God, this whole game has been one brain cramp after another. Hope they get it all out of their system tonight. Ugly, really ugly game. Makes one think back to this time last year.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | May 20, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Adam, correct me if I'm wrong but if the mets had scratched Maine before the game, the nats could have changed their lineup (inserted guzman and morse)

Posted by: swanni | May 20, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess we have nothing else to talk about during this game, but there is just no way the Mets would have planned to yank Maine (when healthy, one of their top 2-3 starters) and bring in a guy they pulled off the scrap heap in the Mexican League. That makes no sense.

As for "substituting a different arm pitcher at the beginning of a game is an old baseball trick," it must be a really old trick, because I've never seen it done and I've been watching baseball for 40+ years.

Posted by: baltova1 | May 20, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Evening, folks. Just got off work and I hear we need 8 runs. OK, let's do this. LOL.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 20, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Just was getting caught up and reading prior posts, especially the one about Atilano and an animated discussion between posters about Atilano v Stammen.

@BobLHead - Hope you're out here tonight. Big time props on your 4:00 pm posting. You were off by 1.1 innings, but otherwise, dead on.

Fozzie beat me to it, a closer look at numbers favors Stammen over Atilano. You don't even need to be a seamhead to see it. For example, Stammen's WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) is 1.40 whereas Atilano's is 1.55. And Stammen's WHIP was 1.29 over 105 innings last year and would be better than that this year if not for a single bad outing on April 13 when he gave up 7 hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Atilano has made a grand total of 5 starts in the majors and, while he hasn't had a stinker yet, his next start could easily put his ERA above Stammen's. In fact, if he were to give up 6 runs in 3 innings in his next start, his ERA would be a cool 5.86. Would you rather have the guy with 25 strikeouts against 10 walks or the guy with 14 strikeouts against 16 walks? That's right, you'd rather have Craig Stammen. Nothing against Luis, he's been able to fill the hole and hopefully will continue to improve and be an asset in the future. At the moment, however, Stammen is the surer thing and the better pitcher.

Posted by: BobLHead | May 20, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sunderland | May 20, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Capps getting loose? That is OPTIMISM.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 20, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg and the rotation...

Based on someone's comment in an earlier post that 6/4 tickets were getting difficult to obtain, I picked up three for me and the boys tonight, but began to wonder how that date fits into the rotation. As much as everyone thinks that ownership might want two starts from SS in that homestand, you'd think they wouldn't insert him into the rotation in a way that was awkward for the Nats (and, ideally not awkward for SS's existing 5-day schedule either - if there is one thing the Rain Man can NOT handle, it's a change in his routine). Anyway, my concern was that the Nats might decide to have SS start some other day, now that I have 6/4 tickets!

Anyway, if a 6/4 debut is correct, here's what I see:

Hernandez would be due next in the rotation, so simply delay Hernandez one day, and then Hernandez takes Atilano's spot the next day, while SS takes over Hernandez' spot. Everyone else would stay in their normal rotation. Nothing would have to be done until 6/4, leaving all options open until then.

Any other option would cause more rotation issues, right?

Now that i've looked into this, if SS just waited to debut 6/5, he'd just take over for Atilano's spot, with no one else affected. So that also seems like a very possible debut date, existing-Nats-wise, but doesn't get an extra SS start in that homestand.


Posted by: hats4bats | May 20, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Like I said earlier, if he doesn't start 6/4, which is just about sold out, you'll have a nice night out at the park with about 45,000 of your best friends. And the Lerners will have pis##d off a lot of peeps.

BTW come June you're looking at Stras, Olsen, Livo and Lannan. Where is your other starter coming from? You cant keep running Ati and Stammen out there.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

BTW is Nyjer starting to remind anyone else of Milledge out there? His bonehead playes in ctr, one after the other, are getting ridiculous. Is anyone working with this guy?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

re: June rotation, I tend to agree with the majority opinion of the NJ posters from an earlier thread, where it was suggested that Stammen stays and Atilano goes. If someone else rehabbing or developing is ready, then Stammen seems like the next one out, but someone has to be ready to move up, and they're not ready yet, right?

Posted by: hats4bats | May 20, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I've said this four times. Morgan is not a major league outfielder. He came here on an adreneline rush, broke his hand, and has never been the same. He won't be here after July 31st.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 20, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Where is Morgan going? Trade? Put Bernadina in center and Morse in right?

Game was sheer frustration to watch.

Posted by: M20832 | May 21, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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