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Game 45 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Orioles

Most days, Manager Jim Riggleman can automatically scrawl Nyjer Morgan's name atop the Nationals lineup. Today was not one of those days. He considered sitting Morgan, who yesterday played a deep fly ball into an inside-the-park home run for the second time this week.

The play added to a difficult month for Morgan, who is hitting .225 with a .304 on-base percentage in May. Morgan has showed signs of pulling out of his slump, going 3 for 10 with three walks and a sacrifice bunt in his last 14 plate appearances.

Riggleman did not absolve Morgan, but he counted Morgan's gaffe - assuming the ball had deflected off his glove and over the fence - as a simple mistake, not a lapse of effort of focus. Riggleman equated Morgan's error to Ryan Zimmerman's base running blunder later in the game.

"I thought about it," Riggleman said. "I got to do what's best for the ball club. And I've got to keep in mind that Nyjer has been struggling. I don't want to kick him while he's down. He's a vital part of this ball club. He plays hard. That's what I ask - play hard, give me a good effort. He always does that. He made a mistake. He misread where the ball was."

Morgan, for his part, didn't see anything unique about Riggleman putting him back in the lineup. "I don't see why he wouldn't," Morgan said. "I've been playing good ball."

And so Morgan will play center behind John Lannan, looking for another strong start after his performance in St. Louis. The Nationals will try to take the series from the Orioles against ace Kevin Millwood. Talk about it right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 23, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is mum on Roy Oswalt report

Comments

Well, I, for one, am glad to see Nyjer in there. We're seeing a much better team culture here, and this is part of it. Watch and learn.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Johnny, out of the first inning with only 1 run. Now, just settle down and we'll be fine. Go, Nyjer.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is Lannan really avoiding throwing inside on anybody? He can't afford to give up 1/3 of the plate & be effective.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else tried of hearing Dibble and Palmer critisizing the pitchers day after day.
Hey, I, understand these are not the best two pitching staffs in baseball but their constant critisism has gotten old expecially since they haven''t said anything new in two days. Dibble hasn't had any new observations in two weeks. Im tried of hearing how wonderful they were back in the day. Believe me Im old enoigh to remember their day, but I'm tired of hearing them talk about it.=

Posted by: bbmom1 | May 23, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Boo-yah Bernadina! 2-1 Nats.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, apparently Nyjer has CF so screwed up, NOBODY can play it.

;-)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

'Scuse me - 3-1 Nats.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

bbmom, to be fair, Dibble has been criticizing the same things for the last two *years*.
he's consistent.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

LOL, sofa, good one.
So neat that it's our bullpen that's FEARSOME.

That's gotta protect our (not-so-great) starting staff because teams, if they "knock out the starter" ain't getting a break.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice Bernadina was doing a home run trot around the bases until that ball fell in? Why wasn't he running? He probably would have scored.
Also what is with our pitchers not being ready in the first inning?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone asked Riggs, or anyone else, about the GIDP-helmet throwing by Nyjer in yesterday's game?

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

OK, I just went back and watched it again. Bernadina's first three or four steps (all they showed), he was watching the ball's flight. But he got to second fast enough that I have to think he broke into a sprint pretty quick, and there was no way he would have scored.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@Dove:
You're being far too focused on the dark side when you question Bernadina's speed out of the box. Lighten up, Francis; Enjoy the game for a change.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So, Ladson tweets we have interest in Oswalt. I'd love to see it happen, just curious who they're looking for. His contract runs through next season and he has a no trade clause so it may be moot if he doesn't consider us " contenders" . Stras and Oswalt would be a filthy 1-2 anchor though.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 23, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

weather is a-coming. Let's move this along and if it rains, KEEP THE LEAD.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in hearing how they'd convince Oswalt to come here. He's a 10/5 guy who has said he wants a ring now, so they have to come up with a package for Houston that's better than anybody else's, AND they have to sell Oswalt on pitching with to Pudge, alongside Strasburg and Zimm, etc., Silver Wig, tour the White House, new park, Sec 320, whatever we got. Bryce Harper in a few years, maybe ...
And then they have to get Lerner to pay for all of it.
So if Rizzo can do that, I'll tip my hat and call him P.T. Barnum.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@...musiq:

Who wouldn't have interest in Oswalt, if they think they can contend? Over half of the teams in the NL, and maybe 4-5 teams in the AL as well. The bigger questions are 1) where would Oswalt want to go, if he released his no-trade option with HOU, and 2) what would he cost, in terms of players returned?

He's already said he's considering retirement at the end of his current contract (2011+option, 35-y.o.). I'd also think he'll want to stay close to home, so TEX & StL lead the list.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Lannan with a 9-pitch at bat, and he singles? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

We have nothing to interest the Astros who pray tell would they be interested in our farm system, and Oswalt is scheduled to make a ton next year.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe something IS physically wrong with Nyjer. That collision was not elegant.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Zimm not doing much with ducks on the pond today...

Posted by: g3jr | May 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman struck out looking.
Dunn struck out looking.
Willingham struck out looking.

Is Millwood really that good?

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Suprisingly short leash on Lannan today - Hope Storen can keep up the good deeds.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

And the kid gets a hit in his first major league at bat!

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Get Burnett & Walker up - Storen has thrown nearly 2 full innings; That's enough.

Posted by: BinM | May 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Clip, Store, Save, and Burn(ett)it (?) ... OK, maybe that went too far

Posted by: reddog278 | May 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Storen looks very good and has no fear doesn't mess around throws his best stuff and gets em out.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Capps' first blown save.
Now pull a Clippard and get the win!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't pretty but the game is not lost. Go Nats!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's perfect, so it's hard to knock Capps. But why were they so worried about pitching him down and away? Jim Palmer pointed out on the broadcast that Lugo has four hits all year against righties. Just jam him.

I think our catchers (which means our manager and pitching coach as well) are way too hung up on pitching down and away, especially when it comes to the arms in our bullpen, who actually can bring some heat.

Let's see what happens in the overtime...

Posted by: baltova1 | May 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

A case of going to the well once too often no need to hang your head we need this win!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

HAMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | May 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Hammer.

From the bottom of our collective heart.

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Hammer Time

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 23, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Off day tomorrow, but don't forget Strasburg start to be shown at 7PM on MASN.

Posted by: marathoner | May 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is gonna kill Capps, he's been money all year. Really glad we could bail him out of the BS.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Capps owes Hammer and Lannan a steak dinner, but he's still the man.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I love the way Drew Storen attacks batters. I hope he never loses that mentality.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 23, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The mark of a good team is to come back and win after having a lead for most of the game and then having your lights out reliever/closer blow the save,Madd Capps has been money all season so no need to get bent outta shape but i have to agree with Batlova1, stop with the overthinking,there's no way Lugo should have gotten a hit hell he just stuck his bat out there because he knew he couldn't handle the heat from Capps in the future just challenge a guy like Lugo.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

>>Is anyone else tried of hearing Dibble and Palmer critisizing the pitchers day after day.

I love listening to Dibbs and Palmer together. I could listen to the two of them talk baseball all night. Best part of this series. Too funny how much Dibble loves Palmer though. Even changed his tie for him. Hysterical.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 23, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Lugo kick dirt on Willingham on the base path between 2nd and 3rd after the walk off? We need to buzz him next time we pitch to him - bush.

Posted by: scorekeeper | May 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

>>"Seriously we're talking about 2 fly balls that should have simply been outs and long forgotten."

>>Well, that argument can cut both ways. That's 2 crummy (ok, really, really crummy) plays, three if you count the would-be triple (since you brought it up), and that over a relatively short time frame. SO--three bad plays, and you're ready to fire the guy his teammates uniformly credit with turning around the clubhouse attitude.
May I suggest you are over-reacting?
Posted by: Sec3mysofa

Actually I only mentioned 3 playes, two of which were monumental and one which cost us a game. I didn't bother even mentioning the multitude of other plays, probably 10 of em just in the last week, of overthrowing cut-off men, throwing to the wrong base, turning singles into doubles (defensively), bunting in the wrong situation, bad bunts, bad base running...etc. Please-- 3 plays? No, more like 30. And the three mentioned were just those that are beyond the pale.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

BTW looks like it doesn't matter who we play, every game is gonna be a dogfight to the finish. So buckle up folks, these cardiac kids are gonna take us all on a gigantic roller coaster from here on out. Let's try to enjoy the ride.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@scorekeeper

"Did anyone see Lugo kick dirt on Willingham on the base path between 2nd and 3rd after the walk off? We need to buzz him next time we pitch to him - bush."

You can see it on the replay on MLB.com

Bush indeed

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I suppose Lugo was still basking in the glow of his excuse me texas leaguer that had tied the game, doesn't happen often for that punch&judy mendoza line slap hitting chump, yeah when we go over to B-More in June we need to remember that bush league move.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Via Adam's twitter feed (funny!):

"In his 1st professional at-bat, Drew Storen used the #Nats bat boy's double-flap helmet. He couldn't find any other small enough."

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Still drinking the Kool-Aid!

Go Nats!!!

Posted by: M20832 | May 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Ironic to get a mis-played ball in CF to our favor today! What a great day for a ball game. I had the fortune to be in the section behind 1st base (home) dugout today, and there was some serious "LET'S GO CAPPS!" cheers going on in the 9th. Almost to the point where it appeared to mess him up!

It's a great cheer, and really got the crowd going. Unfortunately it also was Capps with his first blown save of the year.

Nice to see Maxwell back in the line-up against his childhood team. And, have to concur with the post about all the backward K vs Millwood... really? LOTS of looking today.

Good way to end the home stand, and get the curly W before heading to the west coast. Much better than 2 days of stewing over a loss! Hammer time!

Posted by: mo_dc | May 23, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

That's too funny! As Storen walked up to the plate, we couldn't see who it was from the upper deck, and I actually joked to my hubby that it looked like the bat boy. Now I know why it did. Thanks for sharing that.

In other news, I didn't catch the Lugo move (I was kinda busy jumping and down and cheering). Will have to watch the replay. Well, we can always pay him back in June, I guess, assuming that he's still with the O's at that point. :-)

Re. Hammer's walk-off, I was babbling to my husband about how either Hammer or Maxwell could end it all with one swing. I yammered something about Maxwell's Silver Hammer as well (old Beatles tune). And then, he teed off. Nice of the wind to stop blowing in before that at-bat, btw. So, I guess that one would be scored as a Bang Bang, and a Bang Zoom.

BTW, I heard many who were cheering Morgan on each time he stepped into the batter's box (and I was among them).

---

Via Adam's twitter feed (funny!):

"In his 1st professional at-bat, Drew Storen used the #Nats bat boy's double-flap helmet. He couldn't find any other small enough."

Posted by: CAskinhead | May 23, 2010 7:07 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I assume that Hammer got to wear the Elvis wig again, so there's that...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 23, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

O's SS that kicked dirt on Willingham when he hit the home run should be dealt with! bad form!!

and Nyjer - I'm ok with you not being pulled - but at least admit - you are NOT playing "Good Ball" - you got booooed on saturday - and it just wasn't that one play.

Posted by: my1xrulz | May 23, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Back up off Nyjer ok? don't make a brutha go S.E. on some of you haten on my boy,now would all of you kindly stop criticizing my good friend Mr.Nyjer Morgan,thanking you in advance for your kind consideration in this matter.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- kicking the dirt at Willingham, it's really obvious (check out the video!). Hopefully, nice "locker room fodder" for when the Nats next play the O's.

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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